Athletics: Mok Ying Ren holds national half-marathon record, says Singapore Athletics

Mok Ying Ren wins the marathon of the 27th SEA Games in Naypyitaw, Myanmar on Dec 16, 2013.
Mok Ying Ren wins the marathon of the 27th SEA Games in Naypyitaw, Myanmar on Dec 16, 2013.PHOTO: ST FILE
Mok Ying Ren (left) clocked a time of 1hr 7min 8sec in Arizona in January, while Soh Rui Yong ran 1:07:21 in San Jose last year.
Mok Ying Ren (left) clocked a time of 1hr 7min 8sec in Arizona in January, while Soh Rui Yong ran 1:07:21 in San Jose last year.

Singapore Athletics to recognise his Arizona timing based on track getting US certification

Singapore Athletics (SA) will recognise Mok Ying Ren's time of 1hr 7min 8sec at the Arizona Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in January as the official national half-marathon record, said athletics chief Ho Mun Cheong yesterday.

The matter of who holds the record was discussed at a meeting involving Ho and the SA executive committee last night.

This stemmed from the recent public spat between Singapore's top two national marathoners, Mok and Soh Rui Yong.

Soh had claimed that his time of 1:07:21, set at last year's San Jose Rock 'n' Roll Marathon was the national record, even though Mok had posted a faster time this year at the Arizona Rock 'n' Roll Marathon.

Soh, 25, had based his claim on his assertion that the Arizona race course was not certified by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races.

But Ho told The Straits Times last night that SA decided to formally recognise Mok's time because his race had been certified by USA Track and Field, the United States' governing body for the sport.

"We based (the decision) on how other countries determined their own national half-marathon records," said Ho.

Previously, there was no official half-marathon national mark listed in SA's record books. The quickest result clocked by a national half-marathon runner was known as the nation's best timing.

Earlier yesterday, Ho, 67, had said it was difficult to determine how half-marathons should be recognised, because of the different terrain of each course.

"A lot depends on the terrain," he said. "Different places have different terrain - some are hilly and some are wet, while there are also those with slopes."

Soh, who is in the US, could not be reached for comment at press time.

Mok, 28, was understandably pleased that the issue had been settled, saying: "I've had no doubts that my race is recognised. I appreciate the new SA committee coming in to verify this issue swiftly."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 31, 2016, with the headline 'Mok's half-marathon a record'. Print Edition | Subscribe