Singapore’s first South East Asian Games men’s marathon gold medallist Mok Ying Ren has been ruled out of the 2015 event due to a shin injury that has stopped him from being able to train and compete at a high level for the past few months.
The 26-year-old won the 2013 competition with a time of 2:28:36 while Myanmar’s Thaung Aye and Filipino Eric Panique won the silver and bronze respectively.
Mok, a two-time SEA Games gold medallist (2007 – Triathlon, 2013 – Marathon) has taken the doctor’s advice to continue his recuperation.
He announced, “It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing my absence from the 2015 SEA Games after discussion with my Coach Lee Troop.
“While I’m sad not to be able to defend my title on home soil, I am confident that my fellow runners who will don the national flag can put up a good showing. I will take this time out to rehabilitate and come back stronger than before. A big thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of me.”
“The past couple of months have been particularly trying for me having suffered from multiple injuries, one after another, and even though I have recovered, they have severely affected my training for the upcoming Games. As a result, I have not been able to put in a decent block of training and hence I am not at the level which I had hoped to be to be able to represent Singapore at the 2015 SEA Games. “
He added, “However, I am still determined to chase my dream of representing my country at the 2016 Rio Olympics and will be taking one year of no-pay leave to train with renown marathoner and coach, Lee Troop, in the US in hope of meeting the “B” qualifying time of 2:18. “
President of Singapore Athletic Association, Mr Tang Weng Fei gave tribute to Mok for his outstanding achievements and is confident of a strong come-back from the SEA Games defending champion.
“Mok is a professional athlete who has brought a lot of joy to Singapore whenever he competes. It is unfortunate that he will have to sit out the upcoming SEA Games but we have athletes like Rui Yong, Ashley and even Derek Li and Lim Thow Wee (who are running in this weekend’s Seoul Marathon) who are capable of doing Singapore proud in the marathon event.” said Mr. Tang.
“SAA will continue to support Mok as he continues to recover from his shin injury and I am sure I speak for the entire athletics fraternity that we cannot wait to see him back in action.”
Speaking about his competitor and friend’s absence from the SEA Games, Soh Rui Yong said: “The news comes as a big disappointment for me. Growing up, Mok was my senior in Raffles Institution by 3 years, and I always looked up to him as a source of inspiration.
“Him setting the 5000m national record and running 2:26:30 for the marathon showed the way for many of us. It’s only after years of training that I have finally become a match for him and I was looking forward to challenging my inspiration on home soil for the gold medal and perhaps a bid for a 1-2 finish for Singapore.”
“That being said, I look forward to teaming up with Ashley (should he be selected). Ash and I are friends as well as competitors, and this friendly rivalry is what drives us on to the SEA Games showdown. Ash is as tough as anyone I know and will give everyone a good fight in June. I’m excited for the both of us.”
“With the defending champion out, I know it is time to step up my game and fill the shoes left behind by one of the finest distance runners Singapore has seen. I’ll use this as a positive drive rather than solely a disappointment.”
Fellow marathoner Ashley Liew, who is also in contention for a spot at the SEA Games 2015 Men’s Marathon event said, “I am sorry to hear about Mok’s situation. I sincerely hope he bounces back soon, as he has done before. I never saw qualification for the SEA Games as a competition within itself but as an opportunity for personal growth. Whatever the final outcome, I will be truly grateful.”
Singapore’s men’s marathon contingent will be hoping to do Singapore proud and rewrite the Games record of 2:20:27 set by Indonesia’s Eduardus Nabunome back in 1997.
SINGAPORE ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
12th Mar 2015
Tags: SEA Games