Photo credit: TERRY TAN LEE BAN

Marathoner Soh Rui Yong rewrites national record, becomes first Singaporean to qualify for Asian Games Marathon

The 30-year-old achieved the feat at the Valencia Marathon on Sunday.

Shannon Kuan

Weird talents include playing the violin, but with a ukulele and a clothes hanger.

Published: 6 December 2021, 1:08 PM

Singaporean national long-distance runner, Soh Rui Yong, rewrote his own national record on Sunday (Dec 5) at the Valencia Marathon in Spain, with a timing of 2:22:59. 

The 30-year-old clocked 1:11:31 in the first half of the marathon, and 1:11:28 in the second half. 

His previous record was 2:23:44, set in Seoul in March 2019. 

Rui Yong’s timing at the Valencia Marathon also saw him qualify for the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou. He is the first Singaporean marathon runner to have done so. 

In a Facebook post, Rui Yong wrote: “I trained hard then I raced hard. You can do it too! Love you Maratón Valencia! The crazy winds made the race super tough, but the crowd support was amazing and willed us through.”

According to Singapore Athletics, 2:23:42 is the nomination standard timing for the Asian Games; which matches the timing of the sixth-placed runner at the 2018 Games.

Rui Yong has also met the nomination standard timing for the 2022 SEA Games marathon, set at 2:33:08 — corresponding with the bronze-medal timing from the 2019 Games — where he could get the chance to add on to his back-to-back gold wins at the Games in 2015 and 2017.

The 31st SEA Games will take place in Hanoi from May 12 to May 23 next year, after it was postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 19th Asian Games will be held later in 2022 from Sep 10 to Sep 25.

Rui Yong is currently the holder of four national records: 5,000m, 10,000m, half marathon and marathon.

He is also the first Singaporean to have clocked a 2.4km-run timing of under seven minutes

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