Hail the king and queen of dash: Cray, Richardson completes SEA Games 100m. sweep

Mark Escarlote on Jun 09, 2015 08:33 PM
Cray, Richardson dominate SEA Games 100m. dash events
The gold medal in the men's and women's 100-meter dash is the crown jewel of Philippine athletics --- Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association president Philip Ella Juico

SINGAPORE --- The fastest man and woman in the 28th Southeast Asian Games are both Filipinos.

Filipino-Americans Eric Shauwn Cray and Kayla Anise Richardson completed the country’s sweep in the century dash event Tuesday afternoon in front of loud cheering Pinoys inside the Singapore National Stadium track oval here.

The Rio Olympics qualifier Cray became the first Filipino to win a gold medal in the event of the biennial meet, crossing the finish line with a time of 10.25 seconds ahead of Indonesian teammates silver medalist Yaspi Boby and third placer Iswandi Iswandi, who both clocked in with identical 10.45 seconds.

“I didn’t even know that,” said Cray, whose main event is the 400m. hurldes where he will defend the crown he won two years ago in the Myanmar edition of the meet on Wednesday, when asked about his feat.

“That is just amazing that I am the first in history to do that for the country. I just hope that I could continue to do better things for the country,” said the 26-year-old Bethune-Cockman University Physical Education graduate, whose mother hailed from Olongapo.

Richardson, for her part, joined the legendary Asian Sprint Queen Lydia De Vega and Elma Muros for the honor of winning a gold medal in the women’s 100m. dash.

The 17-year-old Richarson, who has a twin-sister Kyla who is also part of the PHI athletics team, grabbed the victory in an exciting photo finish against Tassaporn Wannakit of Thailand after clocking in with an identical time of 11.76 seconds.

“It’s amazing and I’m honored to get this medal for the country,” said Richarson, the first Filipina to win in the event since Muros’ victory in the 1995 Chiangmai, Thailand SEA Games and third since De Vega’s golden finish in the 1987 Jakarta meet.

Veronica Pereira of Singapore settled for bronze, crossing the finish line in 11.88 seconds.

"The gold medal in the men's and women's 100-meter dash is the crown jewel of Philippine athletics," said Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association president Philip Ella Juico, the former chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission. "We haven't had a winner in both events for quite a while. This victory means that the Philippines is truly back in the international athletics map."

It is the athletics team’s third gold medal after Caleb Stuart scored a victory in record breaking fashion in the men’s hammer throw.

PATAFA predicted at least eight to 12 gold medals in this edition of the biennial meet.  

Their victories somewhat offset the disappointment in the men’s pole vault where local ace Ernest John Obiena could only bag the silver with a height of 5.25 meters in the event won by Thailand’s Porranot Purahong in a new Games record of 5.30 meters.     

Watch Cray and Richardson's full interview here:

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