Olympic Marathon: Soh Rui Yong ends quest to qualify for Rio

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Soh Rui Yong (SIN) pose with the national flag after clinching gold with a time of 2 hours 34 minutes and 56 seconds. (Photo © Lee Jian Wei/Red Sports)
Soh Rui Yong of Singapore posing with the national flag after clinching the 2015 SEA Games marathon gold with a time of 2 hours 34 minutes and 56 seconds. (Photo © Lee Jian Wei/Red Sports)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 — Soh Rui Yong, 24, has ended his quest to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

He has decided not to race at the upcoming Gold Coast Marathon – his last chance to qualify – despite just recovering from a plantar fasciitis injury and running pain free.

Said Rui Yong, “I have managed to run pain free only three days ago for the first time in the last three months. So I don’t want to risk getting injured again and rather wait for my foot to stabilise before attacking another marathon.”

Rui Yong won the marathon gold at the 2015 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games with a time of 2 hours 34 minutes and 56 seconds. His personal best for the distance is 2:26.01 which was set in California, USA, in December 2014. The Olympic qualifying standard is 2:19.

Rui Yong hopes to continue training full time to qualify for the next Olympics in Tokyo.

Rui Yong’s recovery comes after he was treated by physiotherapist Chris Whetstine over five sessions. Whetstine diagnosed that Rui Yong lacked some range in motion in his left foot compared to his right.

“He detected a misalignment of my left foot structure, which limited the range of motion on that foot,” wrote Rui Yong on his Instagram account. “Over a month, he adjusted the structure of my foot – popping a cuboid back into place here, adjusting a toe there, and so forth. A painful process, but my left foot is finally moving a lot more like it should be.”

Rui Yong’s last race was the London Marathon where he finished in 2:37:33 after hitting the wall at the 32km mark. He had run at a 34min/10km pace up to that point.

Rui Yong said he believes he still has a chance for a wildcard nomination by Singapore Athletics (SA) for the Rio Olympics.

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