HANGZHOU, China — Filipino tracksters failed to sustain the momentum created by EJ Obiena’s record-breaking triumph as they fell by the wayside in the athletics competition of the 19th Asian Games at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre here.
Eight-time Southeast Asian Games champion Eric Cray posted 50.24 seconds to fail to advance in the preliminary heats of the men’s 400-meter hurdles on Monday.
Cray, who represented the country in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016, finished fifth in Heat 3 with Abderrahman Alsaleck of Qatar emerging on top with 49.12 seconds.
Prior to Cray’s flop, Filipino athletes also failed to deliver on various fronts.
Former SEA Games champion William Morrison recorded 16.98 meters to finish 11th in the 13-man shot pout finals late Sunday.
Emerging on the podium were Tajinderpal Singh Toor of India with 20.36 meters, Mohamed Daouda of Saudi Arabia with 20.18 meters, and Liu Yang of China with 19.97 meters.
Another former SEA Games king in Janry Ubas followed suit and ranked seventh among 12 finalists after notching 7.8 meters in the men’s long jump event.
Even if Ubas duplicated his personal best of 8.08 meters, it would still fall short of a podium finish as Shi Yuhao of China registered 8.10 meters for the bronze medal while Wang Jianan also of China was crowned as the long jump champion with 8.22 meters and India’s Sreeshankar clinching the bronze medal with 8.19 meters.
Meanwhile, Sara Dequinan registered two minutes and 37.62 seconds in the 800-meter run en route to finishing with a total of 600 points in the women’s heptathlon event.
Nandini Agasara of India emerged victorious with 888 points while Ekaterina Voronina of Uzbekistan and Swapna Barman of India grabbed the silver and bronze medals with 880 and 868 points, respectively, across all seven individual events.
Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association secretary general Edward Kho expressed regret over the sorry performance of his wards.
“We’re hoping their performances would have improved from their Asian Championships level because most of them finished in the Top 8,” Kho told Daily Tribune.
“However, several strong bets who were not present during the Asian Championships came in quite stronger than anticipated.”
“But generally, the performances so far of other members of the team were consistent with what they previously attained. So, the misses were not totally a heartbreaker.”
He said everything is not yet lost for the Filipino bets.
“We are still hoping that our remaining bets could pull off some upsets.”