JAKARTA—Eric Shawn Cray qualified for the medal round of the 400-meter hurdles after a third-place finish in the semifinals in the 2018 Asian Games at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium on Sunday night.
Visibly saving his energy for the big race set at 7 p.m. on Monday (8 p.m. in Manila), Cray submitted a third-best time of 50.54 seconds in the third semifinal heat of the day, behind the scorching 49.34 clocked by long-limbed Samba Abderrahman of Qatar and the 49.55 set by Dharun Attasamy of India.
Cray’s teammate, Francis Medina, was not as lucky, finishing 51.68 seconds in placing fourth during the first semifinal heat topped by Japan’s Abe Takatoshi (49.71).
Cray will be joined in the finals by Abderrahman, Attasamy, Takatoshi, Kazakhstan’s Dmitriy Koblov (50.58), Korea’s Han Sehyun (50.69), Taipei’s Chen Chieh (50.30) and India’s Santosh Kumar (50.46).
Cray, a two-time 400-m hurdles champion in the Southeast Asian Games and a gold winner in the Asian Athletics Championships last year, has a personal best time of 48.98 seconds.
A silver medalist in the 60 meters of the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, Cray placed sixth in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea with a time of 51.47 seconds, which he has improved on here.
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