Singapore’s Soh Rui Yong Guillaume won the men’s marathon gold with a time of 2:34.56 on Sunday, while favourite Mary Joy Tabal finished second in a race she could have won, opting to play it safe in the morning drizzle in a surprisingly slow race won by Thailand’s Thanaronnawat Natthaya in women’s marathon at the 28th SEA Games in Singapore.
Soh beat Thailand’s Boonthung Srisung in the final 400m at the Kallang Practice Track to clinch the top spot, according to a report. Srisung finished 13 seconds behind at 2:35.09. Soh caught up halfway through the race, after being many seconds behind the Thai athlete, and kept pace till the last kilometre, before finishing 13 seconds ahead.
“That’s the way to run a marathon – be patient,” Soh was quoted as saying. “So I cut the gap from 40 to 30 to 20 and eventually caught up to them at halfway. And then, it was just a battle of attrition,” he added.
In the women’s category, Mary Joy Tabal, clocked in with a time of three hours, four minutes, 39 seconds on a chilly morning that also saw a slight drizzle. Natthaya finished 100 meters ahead of Tabal in 3:03.245, below her personal mark of 2:50.02. “My mindset coming to the SEA Games was to finish in the top 3, I’m just happy to finish second,” Tabal is quoted as saying by Phil Star
Tabal, who has been running in marathons since 2011, said the pacing of the leaders was up to her style. “I have been with the pack of leaders from the start. I didn’t make a breakaway even if I could because this is my first SEAG,” she said. “Silver is okay with me for now. I know what to do next,” said Tabal, who will now prepare for next year’s Summer Olympics in Rio.
Main image: Soh wins the gold / Credit: Today