Vientiane, Tuesday, December 18, 2012 — Soh Rui Yong, 21, of Singapore, ran a personal best (PB) time of 32 minutes 26 seconds to finish fourth in the 10,000m final at the ASEAN University Games (AUG). His previous PB was 33:14.74 set at the 2012 National Under-23 and Open Championships.
In doing so, Rui Yong became the first local athlete to run sub-33 minutes in 22 years after Syed Ahmad Taha ran a 32:41.7 on July 15th, 1990 at the Malaysian Open championships.
Rui Yong’s timing also makes him the the second fastest Singaporean for the distance.
The record for the 10,000m is held by P.C. Suppiah who clocked 31:19.0 on November 20th, 1973, at the Asian Track and Field Championships held in the Philippines. (Source: SAA Facebook page.)
Parameswaran Pillai is the third fastest local 10,000m runner with his time of 32:36.4 clocked on July 18th, 1968. Jagtar Singh, who ran a 32:37.9 on August 10th, 1979 at the South-east Asian Games trials, is the fourth fastest.
The AUG 10,000m final was won by Nguyen Van Lai of Vietnam in 31:36.13 while Agus Prayogo of Indonesia was second in 31:37.04. Nguyen and Prayogo were the 2011 South-east Asian Games 10,000m bronze and gold medallists respectively.
Rui Yong recounted the race on his Facebook wall.
“Led the first 19 laps at 78-79s per laps and burnt off all competition but 3 runners. Vietnamese Van Lai and (Indonesian) Agus Prayogo pushed the pace down to 73 but I contained my Filipino opponent (Rafael Poliquit Jr) till the last lap. He squeezed past me with 250m to go, but I fought back and used my finishing kick to move into third position in the last 100m.
“Somehow, from somewhere, he drew a final surge and got me with 40m to go. Titanic last lap battle which I ran in 65s. Respect goes out to all my opponents.”