Photo credit: FACEBOOK/ Soh Rui Yong(苏睿勇)

Soh Rui Yong shares water with Indonesian competitor during SEA Games 10,000m race

The long-distance athlete clinched second place and set a new national record for the event.

Han Xinyi

Still doesn’t understand how the kopi c, o, kosong system works.

Published: 12 May 2023, 6:13 PM

Long-distance athlete Soh Rui Yong displayed a selfless act of sportsmanship during the 10,000m race in the SEA Games 2023 on Thursday (May 11). 

In the final stretch of the race, Rui Yong was trailing only Indonesia’s Rikki Martin Luther Simbolon when the race leader failed to grab his cup at the final water point. 

Rui Yong managed to grab his and, after dousing water on himself with about half of the cup, he generously offered the other half to Rikki. 

Rikki eventually finished the race in first place with a timing of 31 minutes and 8.85 seconds.  Rui Yong finished just under two seconds behind Rikki, winning a silver medal – a first for Singapore in 40 years in the event. His timing of 31 minutes and 10.7 seconds was also a new national record.

Rui Yong’s act of kindness was called “absolute sporty” by the race’s live sports commentator, though there were mixed reactions about it on social media.


Many praised him for his sportsmanship, while some thought of the incident as ironic. PHOTO CREDITS: SCREENSHOT FROM FACEBOOK


The SEA Games’ 10,000m race was the first time Rui Yong competed in the event. It comes after a six-year hiatus from the regional Games, following legal disputes and his non-selection by the Singapore National Olympic Council over his behaviour, which was described as “unacceptable and unbecoming of a national athlete”.

He previously won gold in the 2015 and 2017 marathon events, and holds four national records.


This is the first time that Singapore won a SEA Games medal for the 10,000m event since 1983. PHOTO CREDITS: FACEBOOK/ Soh Rui Yong(苏睿勇)


After the race, Rui Yong posted a message on his Facebook page thanking Rikki for “an epic SEA Games 10,000m final”. 

“You were the fittest and bravest man to push an aggressive pace on a crazy hot day that peaked at 35 degrees Celcius, and a deserving champion,” he wrote

Rui Yong also competed in the 5,000m race in this year’s SEA Games, where he placed fourth and clocked in a timing of 14 minutes and 48.43 seconds.

You may like these