John Tolentino falls short of medal in Asian Athletics Championships; Eric Cray reaches final

John Tolentino falls short of medal in Asian Athletics Championships; Eric Cray reaches final

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John Tolentino falls short of medal in Asian Athletics Championships; Eric Cray reaches final

FOR FLAG. John Cabang Tolentino in action for the Philippines in the 2023 SEA Games in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

PSC-POC Media Pool

John Cabang Tolentino resets his own national record in the men’s 110m hurdles but settles for fourth place in the finale as the Philippines remains without a medal in the Asian Athletics Championships

MANILA, Philippines – John Cabang Tolentino fell short of giving the country its first medal in the 2023 Asian Athletics Championships in Thailand following a photo finish in the men’s 110m hurdle final on Friday, July 14.

The Filipino-Spanish hurdler reset his own national record with a time of 13.556 but settled for fourth place as he missed out on the bronze by five thousandth of a second at the National Stadium in Bangkok.

Kuwait’s Yaqoub Alyouha beat out Tolentino for the last podium spot by a whisker, clocking 13.551 seconds.

Japan’s Shunya Takayama registered a time 13.29 as he convincingly captured gold and bested China’s Xu Zhuoyi, who registered 13.39 seconds for the silver.

The Philippines, though, still has plenty of chances to crack the medal table, with national team veteran Eric Cray securing his place in the men’s 400m hurdles final – an event he ruled in 2017 in India.

Cray, a six-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist in the event, finished second in his semifinal heat with a time of 49.98 seconds and advanced to the medal race set on Saturday, July 15, along with five other hurdlers.

The top three from each of the two semifinal heats and the next two fastest qualified for the finale.

Filipina-American Kristina Knott reached the final of the women’s 100m but she landed at sixth after recording 11.61 seconds.

Singapore’s Shanti Pereira ran away with the gold with a time of 11.20 seconds followed by Iran’s Farzaneh Fasihi (11.39) and China’s Ge Manqi (11.40).

Also competing on Friday, William Morrison wound up at sixth in the men’s shot put final with a season-best throw of 18.17m, while Joida Gagnao placed ninth in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase final after clocking 11:38.38.

Other Filipino bets who saw action in the first two days of the continental championships were Genna Malapit (women’s javelin throw), Frederick Ramirez (men’s 400m), Maureen Schrijvers (women’s 400m), Arlan Arbois and Sonny Wagdos (men’s 10,000), Clinton Kingsley Bautista (men’s 110m hurdles), and Ronne Malipay (men’s triple jump).

With two days left, the Philippines hopes to break through in the remaining events, including the men’s pole vault, where EJ Obiena is a cinch for the gold.

Obiena, the first and only Asian to join the six-meter club, will look to replicate his golden feat in the 2019 edition on Sunday, July 16. –

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