SEA Games: Soh Rui Yong to withdraw from 10,000m race to recover from marathon

He proved his dominance as the best marathon runner in South-east Asia on Sunday. Now, Soh Rui Yong is on to conquer the world.

But in order to do so, he needs to take care of his physical being, and that means withdrawing from the Games' 10,000m event on Wednesday.

Soh was initially pencilled in for the marathon as well as the 10,000m. However, the strenuous demands of Sunday's marathon has made it physically impractical for Soh to continue competing.

"From the get-go, running a marathon and the 10km double is very hard, especially if the marathon is placed in front of the 10km," he said on Wednesday. "If I'm not in shape to run my best, I don't race."

He will be spending his next 10 days in Singapore doing anything but running - at the most light workouts - before heading back to Oregon to complete his undergraduate degree by December.

The next big challenge for this 23-year-old is becoming the first Singaporean to qualify for the marathon at the Olympics.

Soh's road to Rio 2016 has already begun. He is already back at the drawing board, planning Flagstaff altitude trips and delineating training goals.

"I think it's time to go back to go back to do some speed work in the 5km and 10km. I don't want the marathon to be my fastest gear, I want it to be one of my gears," he elaborated.

Meeting the 2hr 17min Olympic qualification mark would be his golden dream.

"I need a perfect day to qualify for the Olympics," he said. "All in all, I may have a 20 percent chance. But even if it's one percent, I'll take it."

liminc@sph.com.sg

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