Ashley Liew, ONEathlete

Media Response – Jun 2019

18 JUN 2019 – In October 2018, Soh Rui Yong alleged that Ashley Liew did not slow down during the 2015 SEA Games marathon race.

RECAPITULATE
SNOC has independently investigated and collated four statutory declarations, which Soh had not made any efforts to view, despite the option to do so. Soh has continued with his allegations , and  challenged Ashley to raise the issue before the courts.
– We responded on 21 Oct 2018 to media queries. In spite of this, Soh continued to maintain his allegations insinuating that Ashley had lied.
– Following SNOC’s ‘retract and withdraw’ letter to Soh, and Soh’s non-compliance, we responded on 02 Apr 2019 to media queries. We mentioned that we were examining all legal options available to ONEathlete, Ashley Liew in view of these developments.
– On 09 Apr 2019 to media queries, ONEathlete pointed out that Soh had ignored facts, material evidence and witnesses, but chose to make a fundamental and ‘safe’ shift in position.


SOH CONTINUES HIS ALLEGATIONS

Soh was given various opportunities to retract his repeated allegations and apologise. Even with a legal notice served by various parties, he still had several opportunities from October 2018 to June 2019. He has chosen not to retract his allegations, and in fact, had escalated his allegations on Ashley.


ASHLEY’S STATEMENT POST-COMMENCEMENT OF LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

There is nothing ideal about an athlete suing another. Ashley’s predisposition is to avoid conflict and controversy, but where it comes to allegations against his honour and integrity, he has no choice but to make a firm stand:

On 8 April 2019 I said to the press that “I cannot remain silent anymore”.

Since then, I had attempted to negotiate an amicable settlement with Soh with the assistance of my lawyer, Mr Mark Teng of That.Legal LLC. I am advised that I may not disclose the details of our without prejudice negotiations. However, I wish to say that it is regretful that Soh has adamantly maintained his position and refused to apologise and retract his defamatory statements.

Soh’s unwillingness to retract his statements is obvious from the series of social media posts that Soh had caused to be published about me and this incident. Some examples of what Soh posted on social media after my first cease and desist letter are as follows:
On 9 April 2019, Soh declared on his social media channels that he will “now battle [me] for the truth of the 2015 SEA Games Marathon”;
On 12 April 2019, Soh posted on his social media channels after receiving That.Legal LLC’s letter that he was “amount  to reply with a 1-page legal letter to say no” even before his lawyers had a chance to send their formal response;
On 10 May 2019, after receiving my lawyer’s letter Soh posted again on his social media channels that he would be responding to “say no” again before his lawyers had a chance to send their formal response;
On 26 May 2019, Soh made posts on his social media channels calling me an idiot who took the chance to make up a hero story in his post titled “42 Reasons why I HATE Running Marathons #21 to #30” [See page 20 of the SOC]:
When #23 happens you might have idiots who take the chance to make up a hero story about slowing down to wait for others as an excuse for that’s why they didn’t win, then send you lawyer’s letters when you call their bullshit and embarrass them publicly

I wake up every morning striving to be the best that I can be. I hold the values of honesty and integrity in high regard. Soh’s actions on social media have caused Singaporeans to question my integrity and that crosses the line. Soh’s false statements and aggravating comments have not only hurt my feelings but also disparaged my reputation.

In light of the foregoing, I feel that I have no choice but to ask the Court to vindicate my reputation.

– Ashley Liew, National Marathoner (ONEathlete)


FURTHER ACTION

ONEathlete supports Ashley Liew for the truth he deserves and legal options that were offered to him. The Statement of Claim (SOC) and a summary for the SOC will be made available to the members of the press, upon request.

ONEathlete also understands that SNOC has reserved all legal rights against Soh, unlike what the latter had claimed on his social media platforms.

Regards,
ONEathlete Team

Race Weekend – 5 Things That London Marathon and Income Eco Run 2019 Share In Common

28 APRIL 2019 – For runners and running enthusiasts both in Singapore, and around the world, this weekend has been one that they have been anticipating and packed with exciting races. Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge ran the second fastest marathon in history to win the Virgin Money’s London Marathon for a fourth time while Britain’s Mo Farah finished fifth. And just a mere 12 hours before that, NTUC Income’s Eco Run was on, against the scenic Singapore skyline backdrop! We bring to you, interesting observations on the 5 things these 2 races have in common!

1. decked in New Balance

This was the starkest commonality! As the official sponsor of both races, New Balance had dressed up the pacers in London’s NB Runner’s World Pace Team, as well as Singapore’s Running Department!

It’s also a bonus, when we meet this New Balance couple here in Singapore! New Balance Singapore Ambassador, Mok Ying Ren & his wife, Belinda.

2. values-driven title sponsors’

Virgin Money: “When it comes to banking, you want an honest deal with no surprises. So we’ll always tell you the things you really need to know up front.”

NTUC Income: “We are a co-operative where, quite simply, people come before profits. Our values set us apart from other insurance companies. They are what make us different. “

it is pretty obvious that they stand for doing business right, and not for profiteering.

3. IN SUPPORT OF a social cause

Being the official fundraising website for the Marathon, Virgin Money Giving has helped thousands of events and charities, big and small, throughout the UK raise hundreds of millions of pounds. This year, the London Marathon also broke the $1 billion mark in donations raised! And because it’s 100 per cent not-for-profit, an extra £9.5 million has reached charities because fundraisers used virginmoneygiving.com instead of a site with higher fees. (Source: London Marathon). In yet another first, London Marathon racers will be drinking from edible pods made of seaweed extracts instead of a plastic water bottle, and is part of the organisers’ initiative to reduce the amount of plastic waste produced and its waste foot-print!

Locally, the 9th edition of NTUC Income Eco Run 2019 kicks off its 3rd year of ‘zero waste running’ with the introduction of its first Zero Waste 5km race category. More than 9,000 runners took to the street on this surprisingly cool Sunday morning in support of eco-conservation and green causes, with innovative measures such as re-usable cups for runners to refill at hydration stations during the race.

A fish sculpture at the Income Eco Run race village made up of plastic bottles

4. SPOT THE british

Alright, we were kidding about this! But in a comedic twist it isn’t too far off either!

The 2019 Virgin Active London Marathon was shaping up to be one of the most hotly anticipated spring race as many looked forward to another masterful performance by reining world record holder Eluid Kipchoge who remains unbeaten in all but 1 marathon in his career. His rivalry with 4-time Olympic medallist & one of Britain’s most accomplished runners, Sir Mo Farah, who has recently stepped up to the marathon distance and was looking to take victory on home soil, also added another dimension to the competition amongst the deep elite field assembled for a showdown. It was intense!

Back here in Singapore, it was a lot more light hearted! The Income Eco Run saw, amongst the 9,000 runners, a prolific author, broadcaster, journalist, and in his words – ‘1st runner-up in the 44 to 45 years old Men-who-don’t-puke-and-run 5km category’, Neil Humphreys. The Englishman quipped that he was very proud of himself for racing his heart out while his guts stayed intact, as he posed gamely for the photos!

Light-hearted, witty and fast-talking, best-selling author Neil Humphreys

5. Spot a ONEathlete!

ONEathlete Evan Chee (third from left, in black) racing at the 2019 London Marathon

Against the backdrop of intense speculation and spectatorship on the elite field, ONEathlete Evan Chee also waged his own race against the clock on the streets of London, in an attempt to lower his personal best (2:41:01) attained just 5 weeks ago at the 2019 Seoul Marathon.

Evan had felt that preparations had gone smooth and well since the beginning of the year, and hoped to ride on his earlier marathon fitness preparing for Seoul by straddling a short training cycle leading into London. He knew this was a risky move that could increase his risk of injury but also potentially pay off big dividends as he seeks a qualifying performance to represent Singapore at the 2019 SEA Games in December.

Evan’s bid paid off as he dipped under the 2 hour 40 minute mark to finish in 2:38:58 (unofficial), clocking a new personal best as well as what is understood to be the third fastest Singaporean Men’s Marathon finish in 2019, thus far. Evan’s sister and national marathoner, Yvonne Chee, also finished the race in 3:03:13 (unofficial). Congratulations to the Chee siblings, Evan and Yvonne!

ONEathlete Evan Chee having a post-race victorious moment along the streets of London!

Back in Singapore, running his first race as an ONEathlete at the 2019 Income Eco Run is marathoner Giebert Foo. In the half-marathon category, Giebert finished in 1:21:35 to clinch the Union Men’s Open Champion with a strong performance and officially kick off his 2019 racing season.

The veteran runner had started running from the track, representing his alma mater NYP in shorter distances such as the 1,500m before moving up to the marathon in recent years. At last year’s Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, Giebert rounded up the podium in the Local Men’s category with a 3rd-place finish in a time of 2 hours 54 minutes.

Giebert’s partner, Esther Khoo, also bagged a respectable performance with a 4th place finish in the Union Women’s Open 10km race.

ONEathlete Giebert Foo (right) with his partner and fellow prize winner, Esther Khoo (left)
See you at the next race!
*Source information and photos of London Marathon from virginmoneylondonmarathon.com  

(Editor’s note – Evan’s results at the London Marathon is not the second, but third, fastest Singaporean Men’s timing in 2019 thus far. We apologise for the error, and the article has been amended as such)

[For inspiring stories related to running and sports, as well as discounts to local races, subscribe to ‘RunONE’ by adding +6588347638 to your Whatsapp contacts. Then send us the words, “Run With Me.”]

Ashley Liew, ONEathlete

Media Response II – Apr 2019

09 Apr 2019 – In October 2018, Soh Rui Yong alleged that Ashley Liew did not slow down during the 2015 SEA Games marathon race.

SUMMARY OF EVENTS:

IGNORING THE FACTS

Soh had accused ONEathlete of ‘using personal attacks rather than sticking to facts’ on a Today Sports social media post on 02 April 2019. Despite the availability of sworn statements from witnesses in the form of the Statutory Declarations that were available for Soh’s review upon request, he has decided to ignore them and maintain his allegations against Ashley.

  • In 2015, Soh had won the 2015 SEA Games Marathon Gold. Ashley hung on to finish 8th.
  • In Oct 2018, Soh called himself a champion of the ‘truth’ by calling Ashley a liar. On 26 Oct 2018, Soh reiterated that Ashley was “conjuring, exaggerating, and circulating a fictional tale of sportsmanship … ”, Ashley chose to de-escalate.
  • In Apr 2019, Soh ignored witnesses’ sworn-in statements that contradicted his ‘truth’, and called Ashley a liar, again.
  • In Apr 2019, Soh refused to retract his allegations. He brands himself as the ‘rebel’ who won’t be intimidated and will see this as an opportunity to stick it out and make his point.

All this while, Ashley was faced with questions and doubted by many for doing the right thing during the race.  

MATERIAL EVIDENCE & WITNESSES

In response to suggestions that we provide GPS watch data from the race, unfortunately, Ashley was using a Timex analog (non-GPS watch) during the 2015 SEA Games Marathon, and up till Jan 2018.

ONEathlete understands that as of Oct 2018, no video evidence of the 2015 SEA Games Marathon race was available. The event was also not broadcasted. The existence of the statutory declarations containing the accounts of eyewitnesses as to what had transpired during the race is therefore of material significance, since these accounts not only form the best available evidence, but there would be no reason to doubt the credibility and accuracy of these independent, third party accounts given that it is an offence to make a false statement under the Oath and Declarations Act (Cap. 211).

Excerpt from 02 Apr 2019: Unlike those whom Soh claims to be his witnesses (such as Philippines athlete, Rafael Roliquit Jr, who had received coaching advice from Soh, as well as, two other individuals who were Soh’s coaches), we understand that these four individuals are independent witnesses who were prepared to and did, in fact, make sworn statements of what they saw during the race.That is the material difference – anyone can say anything you want on social media and get away with untruths and lies, but not so when you make statutory declarations.

We disagree with Soh’s suggestion that the witnesses’ statutory declaration lacks credibility. The 4 witnesses’ identities have not been publicly revealed, but they are far from nameless individuals. Soh does not even appear to be interested in who they are of what they have said since he has so far ignored SNOC’s offer to view the statutory declarations.

SHIFT IN POSITION

Soh had shifted his stance between Oct 2018 and April 2019. In Oct 2018, Soh definitively alleged that ‘Ashley did not slow down’. But in Apr 2019, he downplayed his allegations and claimed he ‘did not see Ashley slowing down’. The shift, while subtle, is significant and non-accidental. We believe that as a learned individual, Soh is aware of the difference implied in these two statements.  

EXERCISING LEGAL OPTIONS

“From a personal standpoint, I have not responded publicly to something like this because it is not my nature to fan any controversy. To me, staying silent on the matter was an exercise in de-escalation, not an admission of guilt.
However, with the insinuations continuing, I cannot remain silent anymore. I believe it is time to speak up and clear the air.”
– Ashley Liew, National Marathoner (ONEathlete)

Through his lawyer, Mark Teng of That.Legal LLC, Ashley Liew has sent a cease and desist letter requesting, amongst other things, that Soh retracts his statements and make a public apology.

It has been a challenging period and the decision, a tough one, for Ashley. However, no one should take his kindness for weakness. ONEathlete supports Ashley’s decision to seek the justice he deserves.

We hope that Soh will co-operate with SNOC’s and Ashley’s lawyers, to resolve this matter as amicably as possible and put this unnecessary matter to rest.

Regards,
ONEathlete Team

Ashley Liew, ONEathlete

Media Response – Apr 2019

02 Apr 2019 – In October 2018, Soh Rui Yong alleged that Ashley Liew did not slow down during the 2015 SEA Games marathon race. We responded on 21 Oct 2018 to media queries. In spite of this, Soh continued to maintain his allegations insinuating that Ashley had lied.

Soh’s allegations

Soh’s allegations had unfairly cast doubt over ONEathlete, Ashley Liew’s repute as an individual, working professional and national athlete, as well as, the merit and integrity of nominating Ashley for and eventual award of the Pierre de Coubertin World Fair Play Trophy in 2016.

Back then, we decided not to respond further to Soh’s incessant aspersions in kind because we do not stand for, nor identify with, such regrettable behaviour from a fellow athlete.

SNOC’s Letter

We note that the SNOC has served a lawyer’s letter to Soh to “publicly retract and withdraw” his allegations, in light of sworn statutory declarations made by various individuals who had witnessed Ashley slowing down to allow the other runners to catch up during the race.

We are grateful to the SNOC for working through the due processes to follow up with and provide greater clarity on this matter. We are also deeply appreciative of the four honourable individuals who have stepped forward with sworn declarations to stand for what they deeply believe in and know is right.

Unlike those whom Soh claims to be his witnesses (such as Philippines athlete, Rafael Roliquit Jr, who had received coaching advice from Soh, as well as, two other individuals who were Soh’s coaches), we understand that these four individuals are independent witnesses who were prepared to and did in fact make sworn statements of what they saw during the race.

That is the material difference – anyone can say anything you want on social media and get away with untruths and lies, but not so when you make statutory declarations.

Soh’s NON-COMPLIANCE

Based on media reports, Soh has decided not to retract and withdraw his false allegations against Ashley,  and has instead sought to aggravate matters by repeating his allegations in his social media postings.

If the truth is really what Soh seeks, we believe the best way to achieve that would be for Soh to co-operate with the SNOC and its lawyers, and to seek clarity with the SNOC in an amicable manner. It is clear that even when confronted with 4 statutory declarations from witnesses whose accounts contradicts Soh’s allegations, Soh has chosen to turn a blind eye to these sworn-in and factual accounts by insisting that his allegations represent “nothing but the truth”.

Such an approach by Soh only serves as an aggravating factor to his initial conduct of falsely accusing another athlete of lying, and in so doing, has brought the sport into disrepute. Soh’s refusal to retract his false allegations in the face of the 4 statutory declarations is an extension of his willful act of blatant disregard, poor sportsmanship and improper conduct which goes against Singapore Athletics’ Athlete’s Code of Conduct.  

ONEathlete continues to stand by our earlier response on 21 Oct 2018, and
will defer to SNOC’s processes that are ongoing at the moment. We will also examine all legal options available to Ashley in light of current developments.


ONEathlete Team

ONE Turns TWO

3 Feb 2019 – RunONE & ONEathlete celebrated our 2nd year! Both athletes and team members came together to look back on a fulfilling year, as well as look forward toward some of the exciting plans that lie ahead.

DSC03072

With Chinese New Year just around the corner, it was only fitting that we started the gathering with a lo-hei. As #ONEturnsTWO, it was touching to notice that the community has grown considerably bigger as athletes are joined by their partners, and as staffing expands.

DSC03079

The cosy setting also afforded many opportunities for athletes to mingle and catch up with one another. It was a welcome respite from ‘business as usual’ and allowed us to get to know one another better as individuals, not just the identity consigned by the sport that we do. At times, conversations would drift back towards the sport that we love and dedicate so much of our time to, as we shared our race plans and training woes as well as how we can support or provide advice through trying times and difficult moments. The point was not lost on each of us at ONE – there is so much more to being an athlete than any national record or personal bests can ever represent. Together, we can help each other achieve much more than any individual ever will.

Thus, we reaffirmed the spirit of family, community and ONEness.

DSC03089

The candid sharing of concerns, challenges, as well as plans and opportunities was loosely structured to create a comfortable environment to review what went well in 2018, and what we could be done better in the year ahead. It was also an opportune moment for many amongst us to give thanks and be grateful for the advice help we have received. The chocolate cake at the end also marked another momentous occasion for the ONE community, as well as the beginning of another chapter together.

DSC03086

From all of us at ONE, we wish our readers a happy Chinese New Year in advance, and fellow athletes an exciting and rewarding season ahead!

Marathoner Evan Chee’s Tour de Europe

21 Nov 2018 – While most of us have always imagined an ideal Europe road trip to be driving a caravan through the winding Alps and French countryside, or a shop(eat)-till-you-drop magical experience on the streets of London and Madrid, Evan is not like most of us.

x

The 38-year old marathoner had always dreamed of racing a half marathon in Europe and the IAAF gold label, AIMS-certified Valencia Half-Marathon checked all the boxes. It was known to be a fast and flat course (world records were set here before), and the cooling conditions in late October meant the race’s schedule fitted perfectly into Evan’s overall preparation for Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 6 weeks later.

x

Valencia Half-Marathon 2018

x

Evan arrived in Valencia, also known as the city of running, after 24 hours of non-stop traveling and made it to one of the biggest race expos he has seen. The actual race kicked off at 9am on a cool Sunday morning. With temperatures hovering between 10 to 15 degrees, conditions couldn’t have been better along with the electrifying crowd support lined up along both sides of the race route and excellent race organization.

x

In the end, Kenya’s Abraham Kiptum broke the Men’s Half-Marathon world record clocking 58:18 to take five seconds off the mark set by Eritrea’s Zersenay Tadese in 2010. Evan would go on to clock 1:19 for a personal best and finishing in 94th place and 2nd Asian runner. While Evan had gone into the race with higher expectations, it was still a timely confidence booster after spending most of 2018 nursing a niggling leg injury which had hampered his training.

x

‘THE’ Marathon

x

2 weeks later, Evan would go on to run another epic European race, the Athens Classic Marathon, the birthplace of all modern-day Marathons. While it is an IAAF gold label race today, the race’s heritage and history stretch all the way back to 490BC. The Athens Marathon traces the same route that the legendary Greek messenger, Pheidippides, ran from the Battle of Marathon to Athens to announce the Greek’s victory over the Persians!

x

IMG_6566
Runners from around the world gather at Adidas Runbase in Athens

x

As part of the pre-race lead-up, Evan had a rare opportunity to visit Adidas Runbase in Athens and meet like-minded Adidas Runners (AR) from all around the world (including Paris, London, Vienna, Dubai, Madrid, and Milan). Runbase is a 6-story facility catered for AR with running and all sorts of fitness sessions taking place almost daily!

x

IMG_6633
Group shot with Adidas Runners in front of the Acropolis

x

Together, they would all participate in a shake-out sightseeing run organized by AR Athens to showcase the best of Athens sights and sounds, ending with a group shot taken in front of the Acropolis and a pasta party right after!

x

Athens Classic Marathon 2018

x

The Athens Classic Marathon counts as one of the most difficult major marathon race with a nearly 20km-long uphill climb, which dwarves the SCSM Sheares Bridge climb at the 37km mark. The course begins in the town of Marathon before passing by the tomb of Athenian soldiers, turning towards the city of Athens before finishing up at the Panathinaiko Stadium. The stadium is a landmark site for athletics competition in ancient times, and also where the 1896 and 2004 Olympics Marathon chose as its finishing point.

x

xIn a fitting tribute to the race and area’s history, it has become a standard practice before every year’s race to carry the Marathon Flame, which is lit at the Tomb of the Battle of Marathon, to the finish point at the Stadium.

x

Right from the start, Evan planned to maintain a comfortable long run pace as he tackled the seemingly endless uphills and slopes. After crossing the halfway mark in 1:30:30 as planned, Evan knew the race had only just begun with another 10km of slopes to go in what was proving to be a much more challenging route than SCSM. The Greek messenger, Pheidippides, couldn’t have been happier than Evan when he caught sight of the Stadium finish point, crossing the line in 3:00:50 with an average pace of 4:15′.

x

IMG_6970

x

Wrapping up his Europe ‘road trip’, Evan will like to thank everyone from AR Athens, particularly captain Deniz Dimaki, whose efforts helped make all this possible. It was a whirlwind 3 weeks in Europe but it turned out to be an out-of-this-world experience running ‘literally’ from Valencia to Madrid, Barcelona to Santorini before calling it a day in Athens.

x

While his legs may feel like they’re running on empty (for the next couple days), but his heart is definitely full. Be sure to check in with Evan as he lines up for the biggest race on Singapore’s running calendar – the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon!

ONEathlete Ben Moreau wins ONE at Straits Times Run 2018!

23 Sep 2018 – ONEathlete Ben Moreau took home the top honors in the Straits Times Run 2018 Men’s 18.45km category, winning in a time of 62 mins 46 secs, which was over 1 minute quicker than last year’s winner, Kenyan runner James Karanga. It was his maiden run in this race! (Top featured image by Straits Times Run Facebook)

IMG_9385.JPG
Article was published on Straits Times on 24 September HERE 

Ben, a previous Commonwealth Games representative, has steadily chalked up a series of race wins in the past few months, such as the Performance Series 10km as well as the inaugural ‘King of the Hills’ race, and demonstrated that he still has the legs to not let age (and his rivals) catch up with him.

 

DSC00307
The trio ONEathlete who finished the race with no sweat!

7ada69eb-8990-4e2f-b19b-0ee227ae8627
Evan (centre) sharing a post-race moment with fellow ONEathlete and national marathoner Ashley Liew (right), with RunONE co-founder Jed (left)

 

In the Men’s 10km category, ONEathlete Evan Chee finished as the fastest Singaporean and 4th overall with a time of 37 mins 7 secs. Evan, who is turning 38, is also showing no signs of slowing as he heads into peak race season in Singapore. He placed 3rd (Local Men’s) at Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2017 and is looking to better his results this year. He has also recently shared his thoughts on Masters running where he hoped to promote and encourage the idea of running as an inclusive sport for everyone, regardless of age, gender and athleticism. This was also echoed by Guest-of-Honour, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, who praised the event for being inclusive, and said: “It is great to see people of different backgrounds coming together here today.”

DSC00199

ONEathlete Ashley Liew who also ran his maiden ST Run, finished 7th overall, and 3rd local in the 10km category, was in high spirits post-race. Ashley’s last marathon was at the Gold Coast, and it seems like he will now have some tips for his counterpart who will be participating in the 2019 Edition, as part of his Champion prize! The prize was sponsored by Tourism Queensland for the Straits Times Run 2018!

img_9361-e1537800554911.jpg
Minister MCCY Ms Grace Fu together with National Marathoner Mok Ying Ren (right), Ashley Liew (middle), Evan Chee (right) and RunONE Co-founder Jed Senthil (2nd fr right). Photo by Ming Ham

In returning to the Sports Hub after a 2-year hiatus when the race venue relocated to the  F1 Pit Building and Padang, the 6th edition of the race saw over 13,000 participants, most of whom were eyeing the uniquely memorable opportunity of being able to finish the race inside the 55,000-seat national stadium.

dsc00309.jpg
The ONE Family at the Sports Stadium

Kelly Latimer and Ross had the uphill task of getting the moods up on the early Sunday morning! Despite the 5am flag-off, the mood at the start was lively and electrifying as participants got ready to enjoy the scenic route. Unlike in 2017 where the race started on the Esplanade Bridge, this year’s route was a nod to its original venue at the Sports Hub.

DSC00072
The 10km runners at the start line! 

 

Read more about the STRun Festival & Mok Ying Ren’s Race Clinic HERE 

Read more about what you can do-post ST Run, on this week’s #AskMok HERE 

ST: Shaheed serves and sweeps ’em all!

04 Aug 2018 – At the recently concluded Singapore National Games – STA Open Pesta Sukan Tennis Championship 2018, ONEathlete and national tennis player, Shaheed Alam, secured a clean sweep across all 3 categories by winning the Men’s Singles (6-0, 6-3), Men’s Doubles (7-5, 6-4) and Mixed Doubles.

This was also covered on The Straits Times on 18 Aug 2018.

Shaheed bettered his results from the last STA Open Tennis C’ship in 2016, when he won the Men’s Singles and Mixed Doubles but lost in the Men’s Doubles finals to narrowly miss out on the hat-trick.

image4
2018 Singapore National Games Tennis at Kallang Tennis Centre on 2nd Aug 2018 6pm match on Court 3 between Shaheed Alam vs. Arbaquez Israel Jr. Shaheed Alam hits a forehand return. Photo by AndrewJKTan/ SportSG & ONEathlete

Earlier this year, Shaheed had won the Davis Cup Group 4 match with TeamSG Tennis and his victory at the Pesta Sukan C’ship shows again why Shaheed is a note-worthy rising star on our local tennis scene. Driven by the same motivation to do his family proud, Shaheed commits himself to put in his best during every training, rain or shine. That mentality proved to be the difference when he had to play 3 Finals matches back-to-back in a 5-hour ‘marathon’ which included a tie-breaker in the first set of the Men’s Doubles.

FB_IMG_1533444959808-01
Celebrating a clutch winner to win the tie-breaker set 7-5 in the Men’s Doubles. Photo by Manoj Banavali/ Sport SG & ONEathlete

Shaheed has certainly proved that he has the heart and lungs to go the distance when he took victory over Israel Arbarquez from Philippines in the Men’s Singles quarterfinals match which lasted over 3-and-half hours.

The hat-trick of wins ultimately took a lot of fitness and mental strength, but it also gave Shaheed the confidence knowing that he is able to hang in there and compete among the best even when the going gets tough. The SNG Pesta Sukan Tennis Championships invites experienced players with professional backgrounds and credentials and is pegged differently from the STA tournament which caters more to the junior level players. Tennis was included as part of the Singapore National Games for the first time in 2016.

image3
2018 Singapore National Games Tennis at Kallang Tennis Centre on 2nd Aug 2018 6pm match on Court 3 between Shaheed Alam vs. Arbaquez Israel Jr. Shaheed Alam’s Service motion. Photo by AndrewJKTan/SportSG & ONEathlete

While pleased with his performance, having seen that the results of his training paid off, Shaheed knows the honor is not his alone to claim. He is extremely grateful for his teammates, Rohan Kamdar (Men’s Doubles) and Evelina Kontareva (Mixed Doubles), whose support and encouragement carried him mentally and physically through the rough patches in this tournament. “Their support is also crucial as I play these back-to-back categories,” he recalls with humility.

FB_IMG_1533444951202-02
Shaheed sharing a proud moment on stage with his Mixed Doubles partner, Evelina Kontareva. Photo by Manoj Banavali / SportSG & ONEathlete

He will also like to thank his equipment sponsors, Head and Pro’s Pro, as well as Futuro for their invaluable support,  both on, and off, the court. Much credit is also due to the team of officials and medics, as well as Team Nila supporters and, last but not least, his family and friends, who have been his motivation, advice, and support ever since he embarked on his tennis career.

Asked about his plans and intentions, Shaheed has one eye firmly fixed on the 2019 SEA Games where he hopes to qualify and be a medal contender. For now, he will be starting on his polytechnic industrial internship as he continues working towards bigger dreams in his budding tennis career.

FB_IMG_1533444944209-04
Shaheed’s bedrock of strength and his pillar(s) of support. Photo by Manoj Banavali / SportSG & ONEathlete

ONEathlete “can’t wait” at Sundown Marathon 2018

20 May 2018 – The night race in its 11th edition, had 25,500 runners mentally fixed that ‘sleep can wait’, but our wolf pack differed. Finishing the race fast to get to sleep fast was a motivation.

After a less than satisfactory race performance few weeks ago, ONEathlete Banjamin Quek comes back strongly with an outstanding 2nd-place finish in the Sundown Marathon 2018 10km race (Local Men) with a time of 38:18.

We caught up with Banjamin after the race, donned in his Under Armour matt black singlet and stylish blue racer shoes. He knew he had finished 5th overall and so, “It was quite a pleasant surprise to know that I ended up 2nd in my category. Heading into this race, there was definitely an element of wanting to prove myself and overcome my last disappointing performance. That’s why this comeback race was a very satisfying one at that!”

The 26-year old full-time athlete added that “the 10.7km course was admittedly challenging with lots of sharp turns. However, the organisers have stepped up to the challenge this year and is probably why the event attracted more overseas runners this year”

Also running a 10km, shortly after flagging it off, was Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Mr Baey Yam Keng. The endearingly dubbed ‘Selfie MP’ is also an avid runner.

In the half-marathon distance, 3rd-place SCSM 2017 finisher Evan Chee, and top Singaporean male finisher at the 2017 Kona Ironman World Championship Ben Ooi, were believed to have finished overall 12th and 18th position, with a time of 1 hour 27min and 1 hour 31min respectively.

Crossing the finish line despite combating some digestive troubles during the race, Evan was satisfied on the note that it was a good lead up run to his upcoming Gold Coast Airport Marathon. In what was otherwise, a competitive category, the top positions were swiped by our overseas performance athletes.

With that, all 3 #ONEathlete representatives finished within top 10 in their respective categories to round off an action-packed weekend for ONEathlete!

As the adage goes – luck comes to those who are prepared to seize it. For someone who’ve had to work as consistently and twice as hard like Banjamin, his results this early morning proves that success is where discipline and opportunity meets. Banja’s days sometimes stretches as long as 14 hours with two training sessions before and after his work as a tutor. The drive and commitment Banjamin continues to pour into his passion for running shows that winning is a simple choice, just not simply made.

Banjamin admitted that he struggled in the closing kilometers of the race, when his legs began to cramp so he switched his focus from getting a fast time to getting his body to the finish line. His mental strategy to ‘tune-out’ from the hurt and hone in on what he has control over has served him well in many races, including this.

Banjamin’s courage and resilience in not quitting has written a new chapter in a story that is not defined by how far he has come or how high he has climbed!

So once again, congratulations to ONEathlete runners, as well as to all finishers at this morning’s event!

P/s: Special shoutout to the beautiful Kelly Latimer for running from start point, to finish point to main race village and all over again a few times, to emcee the night event!!

(ONE)Athlete Passionately Giving Back to Society

First published by MCCY Press Release / Excerpt of Min Grace Fu speech

8. Our athletes play highly significant and meaningful roles, both in and outside the sporting arena. Your sporting talent and achievements put you in a unique position as role models; so I urge you – all of you nominated today and all those who are striving to be on the podium – to use this privileged position to inspire others to give back to fellow Singaporeans, to bring positive change to our community. And I’m heartened that our athletes have begun doing so.

9. I’d just like to quote one or two of them. Yip Pin Xiu, the Straits Times Athlete of the Year in 2015, is one such example. Pin Xiu was named as an athlete mentor for last year’s ASEAN Para Games, as well as the chef de mission for the Singapore contingent at the Asian Youth Para Games in Dubai last December, where she was able to use her vast experience from previous major Games to mentor a young team, and to inspire them to greater heights. I remember a quote from her: “I want to give back to society and help the future generation of athletes. Other than showing others what sports can do, I hope to create more awareness that ‘disabled does not mean unabled, and also to inspire others around me.”

 

Baton-Run-Event-Day-04-768x512.png
Min Grace Fu (left most) with Double SEA Games Gold Medalist & National Record Holder, Mok Ying Ren (second from left); during the baton run in May 2017. 

 

10. We also saw that three Team Singapore athletes – Mok Ying Ren (marathon), Shaheed Alam (tennis), and Ren-ne Ong (badminton)  – took part in a public fundraising event just two months ago to help raise $10,000 worth of sporting apparel for youth under SportCares. On behalf of the youth, we thank these athletes for doing their part to really make an impact and improve the lives of others.

(Ed note: Read More https://runone.co/2018/01/19/team-futuro-trio-run-the-talk-for-sportcares/ )

 

11. These are just two examples of how our athletes are using sport as a force for good. I’m happy that many of you are doing likewise, and I encourage you to connect with others in your community, reach out to the less fortunate, and be role models for younger athletes, even as you train hard and strive for sporting success.