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Singaporean runner Soh Rui Yong casually sets new national record in London 5km community race

Despite not representing his country at the forthcoming Asian Games, Singaporean runner Soh Rui Yong achieved an extraordinary feat by breaking a national record during a UK race.

Without prior preparation, he seized the opportunity a day before the event. In a 5km road race organized by Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team, he secured third place with an impressive time of 15 minutes and 15 seconds, trailing the first-place finisher by only 9 seconds.



SINGAPORE: Despite not representing the country at the Asian Games, Singaporean long-distance runner Soh Rui Yong accomplished a remarkable feat last Tuesday (8 Aug)  — he participated in a race in the United Kingdom (UK) and effortlessly shattered a national record.

Reportedly unprepared, he realized he had signed up for the event only when he stumbled upon an envelope containing the race tag in his London apartment, just a day before the race.

In a Facebook post dated on Saturday (12 Aug), Mr Soh recounted his participation in the 5km road race organized by Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team, which took place in Battersea Park, London.

During the race, he completed the distance in an impressive time of 15 minutes and 15 seconds, securing the third position.

32-year-old Soh finished just 9 seconds behind the first-place winner, Nick Bester (15:06), and the runner-up Matthew Rallison (15:12) in the Men’s Under 50 category.

According to Mr Soh, he ran the race after a full day of remote work.

While the event had a community aspect, Soh observed that the 5km road race was fiercely competitive. Impressively, 74 runners finished below the 17-minute mark, with 19 runners breaching the 16-minute mark.

Soh, who described the new Singapore road 5km record as a “soft record,” managed to break it, despite it being 31 seconds slower than one of his existing records (14:44.21).

Looking ahead, Soh is hopeful to achieve an even faster time when he competes in the World Athletics Road Running Championships scheduled for 30 September to 1 October in Latvia.

According to the Straits Times, he said, “Given that I didn’t really know what to expect running this race, I just ran as hard as I could and got third, which I thought was a decent performance for a race that I wasn’t really peaking for and was doing as part of a session.”

Although there were no existing national records for the 5km road race, Singapore Athletics acknowledged Soh’s accomplishment due to the race meeting UK Athletics permit standards and possessing course accuracy certification.

Netizens flood social media with congratulations for Soh’s achievement

A multitude of congratulatory comments inundated the ST’s Facebook post, with netizens expressing their well wishes.

Alongside the celebration, there was also a sense of disappointment as some questioned why the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) had not chosen him to represent Singapore in the forthcoming Asian Games.

A comment celebrated, referring Mr Soh as a “True Singaporean son,” praising his feat of breaking a national record during the week of Singapore’s birthday.

The hope was expressed that he would have the opportunity to represent the nation in this year’s Asian Games.

Another comment astutely pointed out that Soh’s speed at the community event translated to an impressive pace of around 3 minutes per km.

However, within one of the comments, Mr Soh playfully recounted that the top performer in the women’s over-50 category was Clare Elms, a 59-year-old lady. She managed to complete the 5km race in 18 minutes and 4 seconds.

He humorously remarked, “Now that’s a grandmother that runs faster than you!”

Soh excluded from the upcoming Asian Games by the SNOC

On 17 July 2021, Mr Soh set a time of 14 minutes 44.21 seconds at the Singapore Athletics All Comers Meet 4, breaking the men’s 5,000m national track record.

Despite his recent outstanding achievements at the 2023 Cambodia SEA Games, where he achieved a national record of 31:10.7 in the 10,000m and finished fourth in the 5,000m, he wasn’t selected as part of the 413-athlete contingent for the Hangzhou Asian Games scheduled from 23 September to 8 October.

The SNOC has claimed that Soh failed to honor commitments made to the SNOC, including those following his participation at the Cambodia 2023 SEA Games.

Mr Soh, currently engaged in an internship in financial crime prevention, is set to return home this month.

The ST’s report also revealed Soh’s plans, which include participating in the Valencia Half Marathon and completing a full marathon by the end of 2023.

He said: “At the end of the day, running is not something I do to compete, it’s something I do because I genuinely believe that everyone who has some form of regular exercise becomes a happier and more productive human being.”

“During Covid, I didn’t train for a while and realised something was really lacking. I wasn’t my best self even though I had more time on my hands…”

“I realised that there will come a day when I will hang up my competitive shoes – I don’t think that’s anywhere near on the horizon because I’m still getting better every year.”


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Let us not forget our only Olympic champion, Joseph Schooling who is locked up in NS, denied training.

Well done SRY👍👍👍. This is better news than the National Day message. A great Singapore win 🇸🇬. Please continue at the international level. A slap by the SNOC may prove to be a blessing for you as you are free to participate in international events. Majula Singapura!

Tan Chuan Jin very busy 戀愛。