SINGAPORE - Isotonic drink Pocari Sweat announced a partnership with local long-distance runner Neo Jie Shi on Tuesday, offering her support in the lead-up to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this August.
Neo, 30, qualified after coming in 10th at last month's Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore, meeting the International Association of Athletic Federations' qualifying standard for the Olympic Games even though her timing of 3hr 15min 06sec was considerably off the qualifying time of 2:45:00.
The partnership with the Japanese isotonic drink company work with Singapore Athletics in extending support Neo needs as part of preparation for the Games from Aug 5-21. This could come in the form of airfare and accommodation when she goes overseas for training or competition, or linking Neo up with other athletes supported by the company.
Pocari Sweat currently also supports Mok Ying Ren, who is also trying to qualify for the Olympics in the marathon.
Said Neo, who works as an assistant human resources and administrative manager: "The journey so far has been made possible through passion and hard work. Even though I have this opportunity to compete with the world's best, I am still just a regular runner who is passionate about running."
Added Puspita Winawati, country manager for Pocari Sweat Singapore: "We are planning to introduce Jie Shi to the world class Japanese marathoners who train under the Otsuka Pharmaceutical Track and Field team, a team owned by the parent company of Pocari Sweat in Japan.
"It's not easy to manage work commitments and still fulfil a strict training regime but Jie Shi's excellent physical condition shows us the ideal balance she strikes between intensive training, proper hydration and strong motivation."