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Tiebreaker Times

2016 Olympic Games

Fil-Am Cray savoring the Olympic experience

Filipino-American Eric Cray vowed to put on a good show in Rio, and hopes to make it to the finals of the men’s 400m hurdles in his first Olympics.

Cray arrived from El Paso, Texas, via Houston on Friday morning, and rested just a few hours before joining the Philippine delegation to the opening ceremony.

The 27-year-old runner, who was born in Olongapo but grew up in the United States, is the back-to-back champion and record holder in the Southeast Asian Games. His time of 49.40 seconds in the 400m hurdles stands as the SEA Games record.

However, Cray said it’s in the Olympics that he wants to leave a mark, or at least make an impression. He races on August 15, and hopes to reach the finals on August 18.

“Hopefully I get a good Rio showing to I can make it to the finals. I feel real good,” Cray said, moments after he arrived at the Athletes Village here.

He said that the feeling of being at the Olympics hasn’t kicked in yet, but joining the opening ceremony at the historic Maracana Stadium helped him get into groove.

“I wanted to let it sink it. It still hasn’t hit me.”

Cray traveled 17 hours from El Paso, and should not have much of a problem with jetlag because there’s just a three-hour difference between Texas and Rio.

“The trip was pretty long, and I’d be racing like fifty or 49 seconds,” he said.

The fastest man in Southeast Asia was glad that the races will be held in the morning, because he’s used to train at the same time in Houston.

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“I feel great coming here,” added Cray, who looked good wearing his “barong” for the opening ceremony that had taken place in the packed stadium.

Cray said he was excited about a couple of other things, and they don’t include seeing the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt.

“I’ve seen him in a lot meets. I’ve been used to it so it’s not gonna be too exciting for me. I’m not gonna be too excited to see him,” he said.

“But definitely I want to see some NBA players.”

– By Abac Cordero

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