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Soh Rui Yong’s record-breaking triumph at Valencia Half Marathon 2023 despite Asian Games setback

Singaporean runner Soh Rui Yong shattered two National Records at the Valencia Half Marathon 2023, trimming a second off his 2019 Houston Half Marathon record.

Despite not making the Asian Games team, he channeled his disappointment into relentless training, culminating in a stellar Valencia performance.



SINGAPORE: Singaporean long-distance runner Soh Rui Yong accomplished a remarkable feat by shattering two National Records at the Valencia Half Marathon 2023 held in Valencia, Spain on Sunday (22 Oct).

Mr. Soh trimmed a second off his previous Half Marathon record of 66:46, established during the 2019 Houston Half Marathon.

During the run, Mr Soh blazed past the 10km mark with a split timing of 31:39, surpassing the 10km Road National Record of 32:10, previously co-held by Mok Ying Ren (2014) and Jeevaneesh Soundararajah (2022).

Sharing his triumph in a recent Facebook post on Sunday, Mr Soh reflected on the frustration of not being selected for the Asian Games team, despite qualifying.

Undeterred, he channelled this disappointment into relentless training, fueling his remarkable performance at the Valencia Half Marathon.

“We can’t change what people want to do or say about us, but we can work hard and show them – we’re still the best, ” he wrote.

According to World Athletics, Kenyan athlete Kibiwott Kandie successfully defended his title at the Valencia Half Marathon, claiming first place with an impressive time of 57:40.

In the women’s race, Chelimo achieved a personal best and finished in a remarkable time of 1:04:46, outpacing her compatriots Irine Cheptai, who clocked 1:04:53, and Janet Chepngetich, who completed the race in 1:05:15, marking her first sub-1:05 finish.

Preparing for the Singapore Marathon 2023 National Championships

Singapore Athletics, in a separate statement, also celebrated Mr. Soh’s latest groundbreaking achievement, emphasizing that he had conquered two National Records in a singular triumphant moment during the event.

Furthermore, the association proudly acknowledged that Mr Soh had previously set the Marathon National Record of 2:22:59 at the same venue in December 2021.

At present, Mr Soh holds an impressive array of National Records, including those for the 5000m, 10000m, Half Marathon, Marathon, 5km Road, and 10km Road.

The association added that Mr Soh He is currently training towards the Singapore Marathon 2023 National Championships that will be held on 3 December this year.

Absences from Asian Games 2023

Last month, Mr Soh made it public that he would not be participating in the Asian Games 2023, hosted in Hangzhou, China, spanning from September 23rd to October 8th.

Notably, Singapore sent its largest-ever contingent, consisting of 431 athletes competing across 32 sports.

Backed by Singapore Athletics, he reached out to the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) for the second time in July 2023, hoping for reconsideration of his participation in the upcoming sporting events.

Unfortunately, Mr Soh shared that SNOC’s decision remained unchanged.

As a result, Singapore continues to lack male representation in the Asian Games’ 10,000m and marathon events, a situation likely to persist until at least the 2026 Asian Games.

Previously, under the leadership of former SNOC President Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, a controversial decision was made to exclude Mr Soh from the upcoming Asian Games.

However, in July, Mr Tan resigned from SNOC, as well as from his political position as a Member of Parliament of the People’s Action Party and Speaker of Parliament, following an extramarital affair.

Soh, a two-time SEA Games marathon champion, returned to international competition at the Cambodia SEA Games in May this year, where he won a silver medal in the 10,000m race.

Although Mr Soh met the Asian Games qualifying criteria for the same distance, his name strikingly did not appear on SNOC’s roster for the event.

Soh was excluded from the Asian Games due to social media comments regarding past controversies with Tan Chuan-Jin

This comes amid a protracted public feud between Soh and SNOC, largely fueled by Soh’s social media postings.

Despite Soh and Singapore Athletics’ (SA) efforts to appeal the decision, SNOC stood firm on its stance.

They cited Soh’s failure to “honour commitments” and his continuation of “disparaging and derisive remarks about others in the public domain.”

SNOC provided a 30-page document detailing the problematic posts from March to May 2023, and a six-page document on Mr Soh’s comments made on a podcast by Shasi Kumar, a former professional footballer, as the Straits Times has reported.

He has also previously accused Mr Tan, also a former Army General, of blocking him on various social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, hindering communication and exacerbating their disagreements.

In a Facebook post on his non-selection in 2019, Mr Soh criticized the SNOC and its president, saying, “I’m disappointed that SNOC president Tan Chuan-Jin and his team have chosen to behave in such a petty manner. This is akin to primary school playground politics where kids go, ‘I don’t friend you already!’ just because you say something they don’t like.”

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SRY has again shamed the pappies….tsk tsk tsk

Keep it up. !!!

“We can’t change what people want to do or say about us, but we can work hard and show them – we’re still the best, ” he wrote.

That’s True SRY !!!

Perhaps we can recalled LW previous message? All garment officers are not supposed to politized?

What do you think??

will FAS declare itself as a political party?
why no gut?

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