MABALACAT, Pampanga -- The Philippines lost one of its best bets for a gold medal in the athletics event of the 30th Southeast Asian Games after Olympian sprinter Eric Cray was disqualified from the 100m finals.
Cray failed to qualify for the gold medal match after being called for two false starts in Heat 1 Sunday at the Athletics Stadium in New Clark City, Tarlac.
The 31-year-old won his first gold in the event back in the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore, where he set a new national 100m record in his title finish. Cray followed that up with a silver in two years ago in Malaysia.
Fortunately, Cray is still in the running to defend his crown at the 400m hurdle, where he is the reigning back-to-back regional champion.
In other events, 200m dash gold medalist Kristina Knott qualified alongside teammate Zion Rose Nelson for the women's 100 final after going first and fourth in their Heat runs, respectively.
Michael Carlo de Prado and Joyme Saquita will also be able to shoot for a podium finish in the men's 400m final after qualifying earlier.
A second-place run in Heat 2 of the qualifiers also sent Anfernee Lopez to the final round of the men's 100m event.
In the women's heptathlon, a gold is in the works with one more event to go for Sarah Dequinan (4510 points) after she overtook Malaysia's Norliyana Kamarrudin (4243) for the lead.