Posted by Sha
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Written by Kelvin Leung.
Singapore’s Southeast Asian (SEA) Games men’s marathon gold medalist Soh Rui Yong will compete at the 2015 Portland Track Festival 10000m event, with an eye on creating another piece of history in what has already been an illustrious year in his fledgling marathon career.
At the same track where he clocked the 10000m national record last year with a time of 31:15:59, this will be his first competitive meet since his gold medal performance in the marathon at SEA Games Singapore 2015.
“The Thai athlete I beat in the marathon managed to come back and run 30 min 10 sec in the 10000m just three days after getting silver in the marathon so that was highly impressive. Perhaps one day, when I’m as experienced and well trained as him, I can manage the double feat too.”
With barely enough time to train for this meet after arriving back in the United States after his SEA Games exertions, the 24-year-old’s decision to compete in the 10000m might surprise onlookers but like his usual confident self, careful considerations were made before he entered the event.
“Ian Dobson (Rui Yong’s coach) and I spoke about this a month ago but I said I’ll only run if I felt that I’m back in decent shape.
“After a few workouts, I found that I could do the 10000m relatively comfortably and we decided to enter at the very last minute,
“It has only been four weeks since I returned to the States and this will be nowhere near the ten weeks of solid prep work I put in for last year’s record breaking run but we’ll see how it goes.”
With little prep time before the event in mid-August, Rui Yong revealed that he has a metal piece of memorabilia that is safely hidden in his cupboard, which reminds him to push for greater heights.
“Yes it’s here (his SEA Games gold medal)! I brought it on tour to let my coach, teammates, and even the Chinese restaurants I frequent around town to have a look. Other times, it is safely hidden in my room! It’s nice to have won something but I like to stay hungry and continue to train hard for even more success. Like I said at the SEA Games, this is just the beginning.”
As for his chances of rewriting the national record on the same hallowed ground that carries special memories for the long-distance athlete, he answered in true Rui Yong fashion where “anything goes”.
“Honestly, it’s a bit of a tossup now. I’ll only be four weeks back into training but having done marathon training for a year means I’ve an immense base fitness.
“I did take a long break after SEA Games so I’m using this race to blow off the rust than anything else. Having said that, I’m always positive when I’m in race mode and when I toe that starting line, I always believe that I can touch the magic and create something special no matter how fit I am.”
With that said, it will be 25 laps around the Portland track that will separate Rui Yong from adding another star on his superb year so far.
Good luck from us here in Singapore to the man who calls himself, ‘RunSohFast’!