SEA Games 2017 Marathon
After several news articles about the Marathon being dropped from the SEA Games it is now being reinstated. This is good news for the Philippines especially in the women’s. They are likely to field Mary Joy Tabal the SEA Games silver medalist who will face stiff opposition from another Olympic qualifier in Thai-American Jane Vongvorachoti. Vongvorotchi did not finish in the last SEA Games and only made third place in the 10,000m run. However the former athlete who played soccer for 10 years for Thailand before switching to Athletics finished ahead of our own Olympian Mary Joy Tabal.
While in the Women’s we have a slight chance at a gold. In the Men’s its looking more dire. In the 2015 SEA Games Rafael Poliquit (2014, 2015 Milo Champion) and Eduardo Buenavista (former SEA Games champion) both did not finish the event. This marks the first time the Philippines did not win a medal in the SEA Games since it joined in 1977. Every year the Philippines has placed a male in the top three. The surprise winner was Soh Roi Yung of Singapore who beat the much fancied Buenavista who at the beginning of the year looked like he would win his third SEA Games Marathon title.
The Marathon event was announced to be dropped from the SEA games due to lack of participation from participating countries. This caused an uproar and drew much criticism from the running community (news story). But after an appeal, the Olympic Council of Malaysia not only agreed to its inclusion, but a marathon for all is proposed.
“We are now planning to have it as a public event where the ordinary people can take part. It will consist of 2 categories – one for the SEA Games runners and one for the public.” – OCM President
Now, we all possibly stand a chance to run at the SEA games! Malaysian runner Edan Syah has been campaigning for the OCM to reconsider their decision to remove the Marathon. This comes as exciting timely news for him, especially after just clocking in a new personal best of 2 hours 35 minutes in Gold Coast, just a day before the great news broke!
The good news doesn’t stop there. The triathlon is back! It was the talk of the town when the triathlon was also excluded from the games.
Now runners and triathletes can rise to the occasion and make their country proud! We look forward to seeing new faces qualify for the marathon! We look forward to some fierce competition.