Cray wins 100m sprint for Philippines
THE Philippines' Eric Cray stormed to an emphatic victory in the men's 100m at the SEA Games yesterday, snatching the title of South-east Asia's fastest man from Thai Jirapong Meenapra.
The Olangapo-born 26-year-old stopped the clock at 10.25sec, sweeping aside defending champion Jirapong, who finished fifth.
Indonesia claimed the silver and bronze medals, with Yaspi Boby and Iswandi both clocking 10.45sec. Boby edged out his compatriot in his reaction time out of the starting blocks.
"I just tried to get out as good as possible... I don't think I had the best start. But I am just happy with the win," Cray said after the race.
Last month, the Filipino-American became the first Philippine athlete to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics, meeting the qualifying mark of 49.40 sec for the men's 400m hurdles at the Cayman Invitational Athletics meet.
The Philippines made it two golds in the blue-riband events of the athletics meet when Kayla Richardson sprinted to an 11.76sec finish in the women's 100m.
While Thailand's Tassaporn Wannakit, third in 2013, also clocked 11.76, she lost the gold due to her slower reaction time.
Singapore's Shanti Pereira clinched the bronze with an 11.88sec effort.
Earlier, Cray's compatriot Caleb Stuart smashed the SEA Games hammer record by more than 3m to win the gold.
His 65.63m effort was streets ahead of Thai Tantipong Phetchaiya's 62.12m throw.
Malaysia's Jackie Wong was third on 61.18m.
Meanwhile, the first controversy of the Games reared its head when the Philippines demanded Games organisers carry out a gender test on an Indonesian woman volleyball player.
The Philippines' coach, Roger Gorayeb, singled out Indonesia's Aprilia Santini Manganang because of her appearance and powerful physique, Filipino website Inquirer.net said.
The Philippines delegation's spokesman confirmed the request, but said she did not expect any test to be carried out before the game in Singapore today.
"After we filed, it's going to be the competition manager who will reply directly to the volleyball federation or to volleyball officials here," she told AFP.
Gender testing is highly controversial, both because of the psychological effects on the athlete and because the science of the process is murky and complex.
Competition officials and Gorayeb were not immediately available for comment. Reports said Manganang, 23, is expected to play in today's Pool B opener.
"She's very powerful, it's like putting a male in the female division," Gorayeb said, according to Inquirer.net.
While it is unknown whether the authorities will grant the Philippines' request, previous gender cases have dragged on over long periods, to the detriment of the athlete involved.