Athletics: Goh Chui Ling clocks national best performance in women's 10km road

Goh Chui Ling clocked 37:17.5 to finish fourth and shattering the previous mark by 51.5 seconds. PHOTO: ASCONA-LOCARNO RUN

SINGAPORE - Going into the Ascona-Locarno Run in Switzerland on Sunday (Oct 17), Goh Chui Ling knew that the women's 10km (road) national best performance result of 38min 9sec was within reach as long as she ran well.

And she did just that, clocking 37:17.5 to finish fourth and shattering the previous mark by 51.5 seconds.

Her achievement is not logged as a national record as the event is not featured at the Olympic Games.

The 28-year-old said: "I knew my timing would put me in the top five but I was really gunning for the top three. I have to be happy ( with the result). I ran with girls who are faster than me and got a national (best performance) in the process.

"It's truthfully quite a challenging time even for organisers to organise big meets like that so I count myself privileged to be able to race during the pandemic."

Italian Giovanna Selva won the race in 34:10.9 ahead of Swiss duo Valerie Lehmann (35:07.3) and Amy Leibundgut (37:04.9) in a field of 206 runners.

Goh credited her result to her current training regimen of 75-90km a week across eight to 10 sessions for the past six weeks. Doing 16km distances and more interval runs also helped, she said.

Goh is currently based in Zurich for her PhD exchange programme and trained in Munich in June for two months. She also consulted a sports doctor there for a torn ankle ligament and stress reaction in her calves, which helped her recover well ahead of Sunday's race.

She does not know when her next race is yet but stressed that qualifying for the 800m and 1,500m events at next year's SEA Games and Asian Games is still her ultimate goal.

She said: "Doing this 10km is part of my general preparation training since I'm in the general preparation phase now. I definitely want to improve on my aerobic capacity and clock some timings for the 5km this season.

"Next season, depending on when the SEA Games happens, I want to improve on my 800m, 1,500m and 5,000m timings."

Goh plans to stay in Europe till next year and credits the pandemic for teaching her to make decisions fast and to be adaptable.

She added: "I wasn't lost in morale at any point of time and I wanted to train so it was a very intrinsic motivation to want to continue. It's part of my lifestyle and something that I've done for so many years so it was easy to continue going."

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