Athletics: Soh Rui Yong - A colourful, controversial champion

Athletics: Soh Rui Yong - A colourful, controversial champion

SINGAPORE – Top national marathoner Soh Rui Yong was ordered by the District Court on Thursday (Sept 23) to pay former teammate Ashley Liew $180,000 for defamation.

The long-running legal dispute between the former national teammates began over two years ago in June 2019, when Liew filed proceedings against Soh over five statements about an act of fair play by the former which the latter disputed.

It is the latest high-profile incident involving Soh, who has courted almost as many headlines for his outspoken views and actions as he has for his achievements on the track and road.

Here are some things to know about the 30-year-old two-time SEA Games marathon champion.

1. He wasn’t an instant success at long-distance running

The son of an engineer and a teacher, Soh’s journey in running started in 2005 when he was drafted into the cross-country team at The Chinese High School (now Hwa Chong Institution) after attending trials.

His breakthrough came in 2008 when he enrolled at Raffles Junior College and met coach Steven Quek, who managed to get him to focus on his talent and got him to eat and rest better.

Having never finished in the top three at national level previously, Soh would go undefeated in all races, winning the Schools National cross-country A Division titles in 2008 and 2009. He was also the Schools National 5,000m champion in 2009.

That year, he also won the 2,000m steeplechase gold medal at the first Asean School Games in Suphanburi, Thailand.

Soh’s A-level results had earned him a scholarship with Sports Singapore for an undergraduate degree. But he spent only a year at the National University of Singapore before deciding, after an exchange programme, to transfer to the University of Oregon in Eugene. He graduated at the end of 2015.

2. He owns multiple national records

Soh holds five national marks, making him arguably the nation’s premier distance runner.

He holds the best times for a Singaporean in the 5,000m (14min 11.21sec), 10,000m (31:15.95), half-marathon (66:41), marathon (2hr 23min 44sec) as well as the 2,400m (6:53.18).

The achievements have drawn acclaim and also some flak.

Soh was widely lauded for breaking P.C. Suppiah’s 41-year-old record in the 10,000m in 2014 – one of the oldest Singaporean track and field records left standing at the time.

But he caused a stir in late 2016, when he claimed that his 2:24:55 effort at the Chicago Marathon in October 2016 should be recognised as the national record for the 42.195km event over M. Rameshon’s 2:24:22 clocked at the Chiangmai SEA Games in 1996.

Soh had argued that the marathon course in Thailand was not certified by the International Association of Athletics Federations (now World Athletics), the sport’s world body.

But he eventually ended any doubt about his talent by clocking 2:23:44 at the Seoul Marathon in March 2019.

His latest national mark, in the 2,400m which was clocked at the Pocari Sweat Singapore 2.4km Challenge on Sept 4, has also courted plenty of attention.

While the feat is recognised by national track and field body Singapore Athletics, some Singaporeans on social media have claimed that there are plenty who can run faster times.

Prior to Soh’s time and SA’s ratification of the mark, there was no official national record as it is not an Olympic event, but the distance is one familiar to many Singaporeans as it is part of the individual physical proficiency test (IPPT) and National Physical Fitness Award (Napfa) test for students.

In response, Soh issued an open challenge, to be run in October, to any Singaporean who can clock under seven minutes, offering a cash reward out of his own pocket. The prize list for the challenge has since grown.

3. Highs and lows at the SEA Games

Soh has enjoyed much success on the podium at the SEA Games, but has courted plenty of controversy at the biennial regional meet as well.

In his first SEA Games, and running just his second-ever marathon, he won gold on home soil in 2015. He claimed the title in 2:34:56 in wet and windy conditions, and in dramatic style, powering ahead of Thai rival Srisung Boonthung to complete the final 200m of the gruelling race in a blazing 33 seconds.

Events that happened in that fateful race would go on to be the focus of legal proceedings with ex-teammate Ashley Liew even six years later.

Soh struggled with a plantar fasciitis injury in the first half of 2016, but recovered and in August 2017 he became the first Singapore man to win back-to-back SEA Games marathon titles, crossing the finish line in 2:29:27 in Kuala Lumpur.

But his 2017 campaign was tarnished by the formal warning he received for failing to comply with the Team Singapore membership agreement on a personal sponsorship blackout period, which prohibits national athletes from using their name or social media for “promotional or advertising purposes” without permission.

In KL, he had also clashed with then-SA technical director Volker Hermann over the athlete’s cutting holes in his race jersey to help him cope with the heat and humidity in Kuala Lumpur.

Later, Soh protested against having to donate $2,000 of his $10,000 cash reward for winning the gold medal to SA, saying he felt the body was undeserving of the gesture following the bitter disputes and controversies that had plagued the organisation over the past year.

He also cited the clash over the singlet as one of the reasons behind his decision. Soh later agreed to make the donation to SA, but stressed it was done under protest.

Ahead of the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines, he was shockingly omitted by the Singapore National Olympic Council despite clocking a qualifying time which would have won him the gold medal.

4. He has rubbed shoulders with the best in the world

Soh has had two training stints in Kenya, which is renowned for its production of world-class distance runners.

He spent seven weeks there as he worked toward the 2016 World Half-Marathon Championships in Cardiff, and met a group of Kenyans including Eliud Kipchoge – the best marathoner in the world whom Soh now considers a friend- and discovered first hand the training methods and volume that made them so imperious in the sport.

In 2019, Soh returned to Kenya and spent another month training.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Deluxe-Abwehr und Minimalisten-Sturm: Milan legt ganz oben vor

Milan hat zum Start des 10. Serie-A-Spieltags beim spannenden Fernduell mit Napoli vorgelegt und Torino effektiv mit 1:0 besiegt. Die entscheidenden Faktoren beim neunten Serie-A-Dreier waren Stürmer Giroud und die ... Read more »

Erfolgreicher Abend für Magdeburg, Berlin und Lemgo in der European League

Der SC Magdeburg hat seine Siegesserie auch im Europapokal fortgesetzt. Auch die Füchse Berlin wahrten ihre weiße Weste. Die ersten Punkte holte Lemgo. © imago images/Jan Huebner Gegen Aix-en-Provence: Philipp ... Read more »

Hamilton 1 Queen of the South 0: Ryan climbs off the bench to earn Accies vital win

Andy Ryan climbed off the bench to earn Hamilton Accies a morale-boasting victory in the Scottish Championship. After back-to-back defeats, most notably a 6-1 hammering at Partick Thistle almost a ... Read more »

QPR 0-0 Sunderland (1-3 pens): Charlie Austin has late winner controversially ruled out before League One side prevail in penalty shootout to claim place in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals

Sunderland scored three penalties to book place in the quarter-finalsCharlie Austin, Ilias Chair and Yoann Barbet missed for QPR in the shootoutQPR denied late winner when Charlie Austin's header was ruled out for offside Read more »

The pundits' verdict on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's future: Gary Neville backed his former team-mate for the season, Jamie Carragher said Manchester United 'need a better manager' while Micah Richards admits the Norwegian is 'out of his depth'

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faces a battle to cling on to his job at Manchester United The 5-0 thrashing at home against Liverpool has left him under huge pressure Pundits including Jamie Carragher have called for United to get a 'better' boss Gary Neville is among those who have resisted calls for United to swing the axe  Read more »

Kepa Arrizabalaga and Reece James are Chelsea's penalty shootout heroes AGAIN as Blues advance to Carabao Cup quarter-finals after Kai Havertz strike was cancelled out by Che Adams for Southampton

Chelsea reached the Carabao Cup last eight with another penalty shootout win - this time over SouthamptonIn the 90 minutes, Kai Havertz's first-half header was cancelled out by Che Adams' close-range levellerKepa Arrizabalaga saved from Theo Walcott but Chelsea star Mason Mount missed his own effort afterwardsWill Smallbone skied his spot kick over the bar which allowed Reece James to win the tie for the Blues Read more »

Dortmund, Leipzig ohne zu glänzen im DFB-Pokal-Achtelfinale

© Bereitgestellt von APA Titelverteidiger Borussia Dortmund hat wie RB Leipzig ohne zu glänzen das Achtelfinale des DFB-Pokals erreicht. Der BVB mühte sich gegen den Zweitligisten Ingolstadt am Dienstag zu ... Read more »

Milan nach sechstem Sieg in Folge an Serie-A-Spitze

© APA/AFP Ein Treffer von Giroud macht den Unterschied AC Milan hat mit einem glanzlosen 1:0 gegen Torino den sechsten Sieg in Folge eingefahren und zumindest für zwei Tage die ... Read more »

Chelsea FC 1-1 Southampton LIVE! - Blues win - Carabao Cup result, match stream and latest updates today

© Getty Images ChelseavsSouthampton2610E LIVE – Updated at 21:51 Chelsea vs Southampton – LIVE! Chelsea host Southampton with a place in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals at stake on Tuesday evening. ... Read more »

Knappe Niederlage für Alba - Bayern überrascht Mailand

Die Basketballer von Alba Berlin haben in der Euroleague bei Olympiakos Piräus mit 83:87 (42:52) verloren. © Andreas Gora/dpa Mit einer Niederlage im Gepäck musste Alba Berlin die Heimreise in ... Read more »

'Ole's at the wheel!' - Leeds fans mock rivals Manchester United over under-fire Solskjaer

Leeds United supporters on Tuesday night rubbed salt into Manchester United wounds by chanting “Ole’s at the wheel” during their Carabao Cup game at Arsenal. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under ... Read more »

Ligapokal: Havertz trifft bei Chelsea-Krimi - Leno mit Arsenal im Viertelfinale

Nationalspieler Kai Havertz hat sich mit dem FC Chelsea ins Viertelfinale des englischen Ligapokals gemüht. © Bereitgestellt von sport1.de Ligapokal: Havertz trifft bei Chelsea-Krimi – Leno mit Arsenal im Viertelfinale ... Read more »

Nicolas Pepe summed up his Arsenal career so far in hilariously bad moment vs Leeds

© GiveMeSport Oh Nicolas… Arsenal are through to the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup. Mikel Arteta’s side defeated Leeds United 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday evening thanks to ... Read more »

Haas trying to resolve why Mazepin has burning feet

© PA Images Nikita Mazepin talking to Haas engineers planetF1 A loose headrest that impeded his vision on the opening lap was not the only physical problem Nikita Mazepin had ... Read more »

A match of firsts for Emma Raducanu as she beats Polona Hercog in Cluj for maiden win at WTA Tour level

© PA Images Emma Raducanu fist pump She is already a US Open champion, but Emma Raducanu ticked off some firsts at the Transylvania Open with victory over Polona Hercog ... Read more »

Jos Buttler labels Ben Stokes' return ‘a massive boost' for England

© PA Images England v Pakistan: Day 3 – First Test #RaiseTheBat Series Jos Buttler is overjoyed at the news Ben Stokes has been included in England’s Ashes squad after ... Read more »

Brentford goalkeeper Raya ruled out for five months

© PA Images David Raya points to the floor Brentford will be without No 1 goalkeeper David Raya for four to five months after he suffered a knee ligament injury. ... Read more »

Cricket-Injured Saifuddin replaced by Rubel in Bangladesh T20 World Cup squad

© Reuters/ANDREW BOYERS FILE PHOTO: ICC Cricket World Cup – Bangladesh v India (Reuters) – Bangladesh fast bowler Mohammad Saifuddin has been ruled out of the Twenty20 World Cup with ... Read more »

Arsenal 2 - Leeds United 0: quarterfinal bound

© Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images It wasn’t the prettiest performance (from either side), but Arsenal downed Leeds 2-0 on the strength of second half goals from Calum ... Read more »

Giroud fires low-key Milan top of Serie A

© Marco BERTORELLO Olivier Giroud (L) has scored four Serie A goals since moving to AC MIlan Olivier Giroud scored the only goal in AC Milan’s 1-0 win over Torino ... Read more »

Chelsea need penalties once more as they edge past Southampton in Carabao Cup

Chelsea needed another shootout to earn a place in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals with Southampton beaten 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the 90 minutes at Stamford Bridge. ... Read more »

Telstar opgelucht na spektakelstuk bij erkend reuzendoder Kozakken Boys

© ProShots Telstar opgelucht na spektakelstuk bij erkend reuzendoder Kozakken Boys Telstar is dinsdagavond doorgedrongen tot de tweede ronde van het TOTO KNVB-bekertoernooi, maar makkelijk ging dat bepaald niet. Kozakken ... Read more »

‘Joker' Thorgan Hazard valt in en doet het voor Borussia Dortmund

© Aangeboden door Voetbalzone Borussia Dortmund heeft zich dinsdagavond voor de achtste finales van de DFB-Pokal geplaatst. Het team van trainer Marco Rose had in eigen huis enigszins moeite met ... Read more »

Erst pariert Leno, dann sticht Chambers prompt

Dank eines 2:0-Erfolgs gegen Leeds United steht der FC Arsenal im Achtelfinale des League Cups. © imago images Callum Chambers (3.v.li.) traf Sekunden nach seiner Einwechslung per Kopf zur Führung. ... Read more »

Ex-WFT employees accuse NFL of covering up sexual harassment, assault

Two former Washington Football Team employees delivered a letter to NFL owners and executives on Tuesday in which they accused the league of covering up instances of sexual harassment and ... Read more »

WFT accusers ask owners to release investigation findings in hand-delivered letter

Several former Washington Football Team employees who have accused the team of workplace harassment, discrimination, and abuse are asking other owners for help in their quest for transparency and accountability.  ... Read more »

Fantasy Football: Week 8 tight end rankings

Mike Gesicki returned to fantasy relevancy the moment Tua Tagovailoa returned from injury, and the big tight end hasn’t disappointed. The athletic marvel has now delivered back-to-back quality outings, catching ... Read more »

Raiders grant WR Willie Snead's release request

The Raiders are moving on from Willie Snead. The veteran wide receiver requested his release, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter, and the team will grant it. © Rich Barnes-USA TODAY ... Read more »

Geno Smith to remain Seahawks starting QB with Russell Wilson hurt

The Seattle Seahawks lost to the New Orleans Saints 13-10 Monday night to fall to 2-5 on the season with Geno Smith making his second straight start as Russell Wilson ... Read more »

Emma Raducanu bites back as Brit wins first match since US Open in three-set epic vs Polona Hercog at Transylvanian Open

IN the land of Count Dracula, Emma Raducanu finally drew blood at WTA Tour level and screamed: That was a huge win. A first-round clash at the Transylvanian Open was ... Read more »

Anthony Joshua reveals why he tried to outbox Oleksandr Usyk… but says he knows TWO ways to win rematch

ANTHONY JOSHUA has revealed why he attempted to try and outbox Oleksandr Usyk – and says he knows two ways to win the rematch. The British star was heavily criticised ... Read more »

NASCAR playoff clinching scenarios for Martinsville

© Provided by NBC Sports The NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series all host Round of 8 playoff elimination races this weekend at Martinsville ... Read more »

Calum Chambers' instant impact sends Arsenal on way to Leeds win

Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images While Mikel Arteta might have fancied winning this tie from a strong subs’ bench, he would not have expected Calum Chambers to strike the telling blow. ... Read more »

Tennis, Vienna: Mager eliminato, avanti Tsitsipas e Zverev

VIENNA – Tie break fatali per Gianluca Mager all’Atp 500 di Vienna. L’italiano cede in due set (doppio 7-6) contro l’austriaco Dennis Novak, che sfrutta al meglio la wild card ... Read more »

Arsenal 2-0 Leeds: Squad men step up to secure Carabao Cup progress - 5 talking points

A couple of Arsenal’s squad players proved invaluable as two second half strikes helped the Gunners reach the last eight of the Carabao Cup at the expense of Leeds United. ... Read more »

'Unstoppable' - Aston Villa fans rave about teen star after MK Dons demolition

Aston Villa’s Under 23s are through to the next round of the Papa John’s Trophy after an emphatic 4-2 win at MK Dons. The victory was Villa’s third out of ... Read more »

The state of play in the Scottish Premiership as the first round of fixtures nears completion

With the 2021/22 cinch Premiership season about to complete its first round of fixtures tomorrow night, Craig Fowler goes round the houses to see what’s been happening over the first ... Read more »

Chelsea FC 1-1 Southampton LIVE! - Penalties - Carabao Cup match stream, latest score and goal updates today

© Getty Images ChelseavsSouthampton2610E LIVE – Updated at 21:47 Chelsea vs Southampton – LIVE! Chelsea host Southampton with a place in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals at stake on Tuesday evening. ... Read more »

Chelsea vs Southampton LIVE: Carabao Cup result, final score and reaction as tie heads to penalty shootout

LIVE – Updated at 21:47 © AFP via Getty Images Kepa Follow all the action as Chelsea host Southampton in the Carabao Cup round of 16 at Stamford Bridge this ... Read more »

Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer backed as valid Sir Alex Ferguson point made

Manchester United’s defeat to Liverpool handed the club a reality check in their pursuit of a strong Premier League finish, and increased the pressure on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic