Soh Rui Yong
The SEA Games Mens Marathon was won in 2:34.56 the slowest SEA Games time since 1971 (2.40.02) . But all that mattered for Soh Rui Yong of Singpore was the win. Despite having to battle through very miserable rainy conditions which effected all the runners by at least 10 minutes each (it was expected to be hot and humid) and fighting fierce head winds Rui Yong seemed like he had enough energy to run another Marathon after he crossed the line. He pumped his fist in the air and then grabbed a Singaporean flag and did a lap high fiving a crowd of a couple hundred that had come to cheer on there country man.
In his first SEA Games Soh Rui Yong succeeded his country man Mok Ying Ren (also the 2007 SEA Games Triathlon Champion) as Marathon Champion. Mok had to withdraw due to injuries leading up to the SEA Games.
I knew being there that this was going to be a slow Marathon as the clock read 2:29 and they had not even opened the gates yet for the athletes to come in. When they came in Boonthung Srisung of Thailand was slightly in front but at 450m Soh started to increase the tempo. Srisung stayed with him. But when Soh kicked again, Srisung had nothing left. Srisung a former SEA Games 5000, and 10000m champion took silver in 2:35.09. Nguyen Thanh Hoang took bronze in 2:37.10.
2007 SEA Games Champion Eduardo Buenavista was fifth in 2:39.26. And Milo Marathon Champion Rafael Poliquit collapsed from exhaustion during the race and was rushed to the hospital. He was thankfully discharged later today.
Something we should not take lightly and be very serious about looking at is the fact we have not failed to win a SEA Games medal in the Men’s Marathon since 1999, and that year the Marathon was not held at SEA Games.