Athletics: Soh clocks good time in bad weather

Singapore's SEA Games marathon champion Soh Rui Yong had to battle pouring rain during his race at the World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff yesterday. ST FILE PHOTO

Singapore's reigning SEA Games marathon gold medallist Soh Rui Yong clocked a season-best time at the World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff, Wales, yesterday.

Amid pouring rain, the 24-year-old completed his race in 64th position with a time of 1hr 7min 56sec, which fell short of the national record of 1:07:08 set by 2013 SEA Games marathon gold winner Mok Ying Ren in Arizona in January.

It was also 35 seconds slower than his personal best of 1:07:21 set last September in San Jose.

Soh said: "It was so cold. It was already raining during my warm-ups, and really windy. At one point I couldn't even feel my face because it was numb.

"Everyone slowed down quite a lot. Even though I didn't run my personal best, I was still glad to be overtaking some of the runners and be placed in a good position."

The University of Oregon graduate is attempting to qualify for the marathon at the Rio Olympics, and to do so, he needs to clock 2hr 19sec before July 11.

Yesterday's race was an important build-up to his next attempt to meet the mark, at the April 24 London Marathon.

He said: "It's a big confidence-booster. It's a good, fast run, and if I can run in these tough conditions, I can run better in other conditions. Mentally I'm tougher after this race."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 27, 2016, with the headline 'Soh clocks good time in bad weather'. Print Edition | Subscribe