Soh Rui Yong – Soh Back!

Soh Back 

Soh Rui Yong is back running for Singapore after a 6-year hiatus. The 2015 and 2017 SEA Games Champion will make a return to the SEA Games Marathon on his Facebook profile he answered a lot of questions. In the meantime, Soh has set Singaporean Records in the 5000, 10,000, Half Marathon, and Marathon, and the most important of them all the 2.4km run.

2023 SEA Games race calendar:
5,000m – May 9
10,000m – May 11

“Why no marathon?” many have been asking. I’ll answer it here with context


While every country can send 2 athletes per event, selection criteria are set by both the Singapore National Olympic Council and Singapore Athletics for an objective selection process. For the marathon, the qualification standard is the bronze medal mark of the last SEA Games 2:26:40 by Tony Payne of Thailand. My last marathon was 2:22:59 (Valencia Marathon, December 2021), but the qualifying window only opened in May 2022. Hence this mark was not considered for selection. I did not run another marathon in the qualifying window as I focused more on the shorter distances in 2022, to improve my speed endurance, and efficiency. That’s where I qualified for the 5000m and 10000m events running 14:59 and a new national record of 31:12. I also suffered from a bad back and hip from July 2022 to Jan 2023 which prevented me from doing another Valencia Marathon in December 2022.


I could probably have made a compelling case to be selected based on my 100% win rate at SEA Games Marathons I’ve taken part in, and the fact that my last marathon was the Singapore national record. However, this would have required selectors to make a special case for me.


I had discussions with Singapore Athletics regarding my events. In the name of sportsmanship and objectivity, I declined to make an appeal to be considered for the marathon so as to be fair to other runners who had tried and failed to qualify for the team. Eventually, we’re sending a total of zero male marathoners for these games but I hope our standards will improve in the years to come, and I’ll be gunning for a comeback in the marathon at the 2025 SEA Games in Bangkok!

Soh Rui Yong 

BETTER MAKE IT A DOUBLE! SEA Games 2015/2017 Marathon Champion Soh joins us for 30 Minutes to discuss his journey, experiences studying in Oregon, and most of all, talk Marathon.

Pinoyathletics Founders Enzo Williams and Airnel Talatala Abarra host this open forum. After having interviewed 2017/2019 SEA Games 100m Women’s Champion Le Tú Chinh and Malaysian National Jumps Coach Record Breaker Maker Ahmad Firdaus Salim. Pinoyathletics continues with its Southeast Asian flavor.

Topic: Pinoyathletics Track Talk Tuesday with SEA Games x2 Marathon Champion Soh Rui Yong
Time: Jul 7, 2020, 05:00 PM Singapore

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Meeting ID: 822 6297 7317

For more information on Soh Rui Yong and stats, visit here

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Soh Rui Yong

Best Times

Discipline Performance Wind Venue Date Records Results Score
5000 Metres 14:55.91 Portland, OR (USA) 10 JUN 2017 822
10,000 Metres 31:15.95 Portland, OR (USA) 14 JUN 2014 NR 850
Half Marathon 1:06:46 Houston, TX (USA) 20 JAN 2019 926
Marathon 2:23:44 Seoul (KOR) 17 MAR 2019 929


  • 2015 SEA Games Champion Men’s Marathon
  • 2017 SEA Games Champion Men’s Marathon
  • Singapore National Record
    • 10K
    • Half Marathon
    • Marathon

Soh, not Right. Petition launched after SNOC leaves Soh Rui Yong out of SEA Games 2019

Aug 2, 2019

2019 Asian Athletics Roundup

SINGAPORE — A petition has been set up to get the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) to reconsider its decision not to select two-time men’s marathon defending champion Soh Rui Yong’s upcoming SEA Games in the Philippines.

The petition was set up on Friday morning (2 August) on the website by user KM Chia.

The user wrote, “Soh Rui Yong (is) our best national long-distance running athlete. He is the top regional Southeast Asian long-distance runner. However, this year he had a dispute with the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) over another athlete’s integrity.

“SNOC had unjustly left out Soh, disregarding his excellent results this year. Let’s get Soh reinstated for the SEA Games representing Singapore.”

As of 12.45 pm on Friday, the petition has garnered 175 signatures. It is aiming for 200 signatures.

Full Article Here

Soh in Seoul sets new Singapore Record

March 17, 2017

Two-time SEA Games marathon champion Soh Rui Yong’s personal best before Seoul was 2:24:55, set at the 2016 Chicago Marathon.PHOTO: COURTESY OF SOH RUI YONG


SINGAPORE – Two-time SEA Games marathon champion Soh Rui Yong broke the national record after finishing the Seoul Marathon in 2hr 23min 42sec on Sunday (March 17).

The record is pending ratification by Singapore Athletics.

The previous national record for the men’s marathon was 2:24:22, set at the 1995 SEA Games by Murugiah Rameshon. 

The Mark Catapaults Soh to #1 in the SEA Rankings for 2019 by a long way. Soh is the defending SEA Games Champion in 2015 and 2017 in Mens Marathon but will face a stiff challenge from Thai newcomer Tony Payne who has a PB and holds the SEA Record at 2:16.

Read the Full Article Here

2018 March – World Half Marathon Championships

Also, SEA Games Champion Soh Roi Yong improved his season-best to 1:08:28 at the world half marathon champs in Valencia, Spain. So the Singaporean finished 121 of 152 entries. At the same time, Rio Olympian Jane Vongvorachoti of Thailand clocked 1:21.52 to finish 105 of 117 entries.

2015 and 2017 SEA Games Marathon Champion Soh Roi Yong

2019 January SEA Roundup Athletics

Rui Yong clocks new National Record

soh rui yong

Soh Rui Yong SEA Games 2015 and 2017 SEA Games Men’s Marathon Champion. Soh Rui Yong set a new Singaporean National Record and PB at the Chevron Houston Marathon on January 20. He may have finished the 50th. But his time of 1:06.46 was a considerable milestone breakthrough as it broke his previous mark of 1:07.21, which was set 4 years ago in San Jose.  

According to Marathon Guide Time Predictor, this performance is good enough for a 2:19.50 Marathon, which would be a considerable improvement on Soh’s 2:24.55 PB. Soh will face a strong challenge for his third SEA Games title in a row in the Philippines later in the year. With Thai-Kiwi Tony Ah Thit Payne had a PB of 2:16.56 in Frankfurt, Germany, last year in 2018. Surprisingly Payne’s PB in Half Marathon is only 1:09.48.

Soh Rui Yong 2017 SEA Games

Meanwhile, in the Men’s Soh of Singapore defended his title in 2:29.27 again, far from Soh’s best mark of 2:24. So, who trains in Oregon, USA, took the win from his rival and good friend Agus Prayogo, the SEA Games 10,000m Champion, who took the silver in 2:31.20, and the surprise bronze was Malaysia’s Muhaizar Muhammad in  2:31.52.

Former SEA Games champion Boonthung Srisung of Thailand and The Philippines Jeson Agravante Did not finish the race due to cramps.


But this trails well behind SEA Games Champion Soh, who has already run 2h24 this year. It was the first time in the 2015 SEA Games since the Philippines joined SEA Games that the men had failed to make the podium.

SEA Games Marathon Soh Rui Yong triumphs in the pouring rain, with no medals for the Philippines

SEA Games Marathon Soh Rui Yong triumphs in the pouring rain, with no medals for the Philippines

Jun 7, 2015

The SEA Games Mens Marathon was won at 2:34.56 the slowest SEA Games time since 1971 (2.40.02). But all that mattered for Soh Rui Yong of Singapore was the win. Despite having to battle through very miserable rainy conditions which affected all the runners by at least 10 minutes each (it was expected to be hot and humid) and fighting fierce headwinds 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 their countryman.

I am the SEA Games Champion Soh Roars as he crosses the line in tough weather conditions.
Soh ‘The Peoples Champ’ acknowledges his supporters.

In his first SEA Games, Soh Rui Yong succeeded his countryman 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.

Soh pursues Boonthung of Thailand. The slippery wet conditions are very evident in this photo.

Slow Time

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 the bronze at 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.


Rank Bib Name     Result Time


1 182  

SOH Rui Yong Gui.
2 258  

SRISUNG Boonthung
    2:35:09 +0:13  
3 314  

HOANG Nguyen Thanh
    2:37:10 +2:14  
4 25  

SAYUTI Hamdan Sy.
    2:38:50 +3:54  
5 123  

    2:39:26 +4:30  
6 11  

    2:42:39 +7:43  
7 104  

THU Soe Min
    2:43:26 +8:30  
8 170  

LIEW Ashley Wei.
    2:44:02 +9:06  
9 8  

MA Viro
    2:55:49 +20:53  
10 309  

BUI The Anh
    2:59:39 +24:43  

AYE Thaung


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