Double Happiness for ONEathlete runners at Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2017

Press Release for SCSM 2017

3 Dec 2017 – Pierre de Coubertin World Fair Play Trophy Winner Ashley Liew and fellow Flexifitness teammate Evan Chee (both managed by ONEathlete) finished as 2nd and 3rd Singaporean male respectively at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) 2017 which also doubled up as the first Singapore National Championships marathon race.

1st runner-up Ashley Liew (right) and 2nd runner-up Evan Chee (left) together with their Team Flexifitness coach and reigning Singapore marathon national record holder M. Rameshon (centre)

1st runner-up Ashley Liew (right) and 2nd runner-up Evan Chee (left) together with their Team Flexifitness coach and reigning Singapore marathon national record holder M. Rameshon (centre).

In the Open category the Kenyans once again completed a podium sweep with Cosmas Kimutai winning the Men’s race in 2:22:48 while Pamela Rotich was crowned the women’s champion with a time of 2:38:31.

Reigning SEA Games marathon champion Soh Rui Yong was the first local Men to cross the line and was crowned Singapore’s first national champion finishing in 2:35:55. Rachel See won the accolade in the local Women’s race with a timing of 3:11:08 (unofficial).

Ashley Liew, the latest Singapore elite marathoner to join ONEathlete few weeks ago, finished with a timing of 2:50:21. While Evan Chee, wrapped up his 4th and final marathon race for 2017 (following Tokyo, Bangkok, Berlin) finishing in 2:54:38 on a humid but relatively cool and overcast December morning where the skies even looked threatening atone point during the race.

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Ashley and Evan on the podium with SCSM 2017 local Men champion, Rui Yong, at the SCSM 2017 Prize Presentation.

I had to balance high mileage run training with serving patients six days a week as a Doctor of Chiropractic at Family Health Chiropractic Clinic. In addition, it is never easy racing under the heat and humidity in Singapore. Overall, I’m thankful to my coach, Mr Rameshon, Flexifitness teammates, my encouraging girlfriend Sandra, my father who ran the 10km today, my supportive sponsor Asics and my management agency ONEathlete. I couldn’t have asked for more than to be taking part and racing among the very talented field today” – said Ashley Liew after completing his 28th Marathon today.

“Having raced 3 marathons earlier this year with the last being Berlin marathon just 9 weeks ago, my goals this morning had to be conservative and realistic much as I would have wanted to give it my all once the gun went off. Congratulations to Ashley who ran a superb race as well as all the runners who helped made this event a wonderful experience! It has been a fulfilling year of racing and travelling and I am looking forward to catching up with family and friends over this festive season” – Evan Chee

Also taking part in SCSM this morning were members of runONE & ONEathlete family. They enjoyed this year’s revised route, revelling in the running community’s camaraderie and taking turns to cheer fellow runners along the route.

While Mok had to give SCSM 2017 a miss due to his upcoming wedding banquet preparations. However, he turned up on race morning with a bright smile, this time as a supporter to give back the kind words and support he has received from the running community as well as family and friends all these years. Mok’s wife Belinda completed her 10km run while his sister, Mok Ying Rong, came in 2nd in the local Women’s marathon category.

Leading up to SCSM 2017, Mok also continued doing what he believed in, supporting fellow runners through his #RunwithMok 15-week training programme as part of a RunONE x Straits Times column which advocates getting active as a healthy lifestyle and also provides running tips such as injury prevention. Mok also provided hydration tips and strategies through his social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, having experienced first-hand the importance of hydration in the days before, and during, important races.

(left to right): Ashley and Evan with the RunONE & ONEathlete Co-founders; Mok with Belinda after her 10km race; Mok Ying Rong receiving her 1st runner-up prize

The 16th edition of Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, which started in 1982 and has evolved into a marquee event for Singapore running, saw 48,000 enthusiastic participants in what is likely one of the biggest turnout in recent times. This year’s marathon also incorporated new ‘heritage’ routes and entertainment points, allowing runners to enjoy a historic cultural journey through Singapore as they race past Little India, iconic heritage sites such as Chinatown, Malay Heritage area and the city centre before ending at the Padang.

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Ashley (left, in light blue) and Evan (right, in maroon) sharing a light-hearted moment with fellow runners before the gun goes off

SAA President Ho Mun Cheong, had earlier alluded to the partnership between SAA and SCSM organiser, Ironman Asia, as raising the level of competitive distance running in Singapore by giving top Singapore runners a chance to compete amongst the elites at the region’s only IAAF Gold Label race. Mr. Ho’s sentiments was echoed by Mok Ying Ren, one of Singapore’s top marathoners and seven-time SCSM Singapore Men’s champion, who was confident the partnership would resonate with competitive runners in Singapore and also offer opportunities for a finer display of local sportsmanship as well as groom future young running talents. The partnership between SAA and Ironman Asia will last 2 years until 2018.

(all photo credits: ONEathlete)

For any queries, kindly email jed@onemanagement.sg

Stars and Crescent Shine for Debutant Benjamin Ooi at 2017 Ironman World Championships

Press Release for IRONMAN World Championship – Benjamin Ooi

KONA, HAWAII – 24 year-old SMU student triathlete, Benjamin Ooi, had an amazing debut at the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, and also his first ironman-distance event (3.9km swim, 180km bike and 42.2km marathon) to finish as top Singaporean male in an overall time of 10 hours 34 mins.

Joining Ben is also multiple Kona-qualifier and one of Singapore’s best female triathlete Choo Ling Er, who finished in 10 hours 32 mins.

As an ex SMU Aquathlon captain and water polo player, Ben was introduced to triathlon 2 years ago as a way of keeping fit for his annual army physical proficiency test (IPPT). Within that short span of time, Ben has gone from learning to ride a bike to racing the very best at the IRONMAN World Championship, a qualifications-only holy grail of triathlons.

Race Morning

The day started positively as the age group athletes were flagged off in waves after the Pro Men’s and Women’s race began at 6:35am. Ben showed his pedigree and water polo background, exiting the 3.9km swim in just over 62 mins along with a large pack of race-eager age groupers vying for position.                                                 

Heading into transition 1, Ben knew that he was the first Singaporean out of the water and stood a good chance. After coming in 2nd at his Kona-qualifying Hefei 70.3 race last October (which also happened to be his first ever 70.3 race), Ben had dedicated the past year getting ready for Kona. He even brought his bike along for his 4-month overseas exchange programme in Sao Paulo, Brazil (as part of his overseas exchange programme), so that training can continue uninterrupted. It shows the dedication and commitment he has in his pursuit of the sport.


Biking Through The Lava Fields

On the bike heading out to Hawi, the punishing headwinds and crosswinds were unforgiving and many athletes, including Ben, were starting to feel the effort. Uncharacteristically, Ben had to work hard to keep his focus just 40km into the bike. Perhaps the nerves were getting to this Kona debutante. 

Although Ben had clocked training rides as long as 160km, his packed academic schedule and congested roads in Singapore had conspired for a less-than-ideal prep on the bike. Ben had to reassure himself he had the legs just as the scorching lava fields were sapping his energy. Working through his hydration and fueling provided some mental respite as Ben tackled the elements and his inner monsters.

As is always, the return leg from the turnaround at Hawi, and then the last 50km, is where the damage is done as stronger riders start to pile on the pressure  before entering transition 2. With big gaps slowly opening up, Ben once again found himself stranded in no man’s land, mentally and physically, as he inched back towards transition. It was going to be a long day in office.


The Final Stretch

Once off the bike, Ben knew that he had his work cut out for him on the run. The abnormally hot weather at this year’s race, with temperatures reaching 40 degrees at the Energy Lab, had turned the run into a game of survival. Back on the tarmac in his running shoes, Ben felt the punishing 180km bike in his brick-like legs where every step felt heavy as lead. He made quick work to follow a group of strong runners as he settled into a strong pace. The race was approaching noon at this point, the unforgiving sun and heat giving running in Kona its infamous nickname – the ‘Ironman shuffle’.

Ben had flown into Hawaii earlier to acclimatize to the heat and humidity. His 20-hour training weeks, with runs that end as late as 1pm in Singapore and Sao Paulo, had also prepared him to face the tough and hot Kona. As a time crunched student-triathlete, Ben was always trodding a fine line between school, training, and the crucial 4th discipline of triathlon – recovery. Despite that, Ben professes it was not the allure of outgunning his competitors but bettering himself that drove him to this sport, and eventually led him to Kona.

“As an athlete, and in life, success is a matter of discipline and habit. Day in and day out, the open-ended challenge to better myself continues. I trusted my training and a little common sense to take me through the unknown come race day. Sometimes things don’t go flowingly, but I know my efforts have still made me a better athlete.

Shortly after the 21km mark, Ben still managed to stick together with the group as they try to conserve energy, mentally and physically, for the second half of the marathon and the Energy Lab –  an infamous 5-km stretch of heat and destitute. At the 28km mark, runners turn off the Queen K highway to complete a loop around the Lab and when they leave, they’re rarely the same. At this point, Ben knows it’s about finishing the run before it finishes you. He digs deep and knows that he must hurry, but more haste can mean less speed too. It’s a high-wire act of energy management in the last 10km, one that he has trained and rehearsed for the past year.


Finishing Down Ali’i Drive

As the Sun begins its gentle descent, Ben  finds the second wind he’s been searching the whole day. Covering the last 3km at 4:10min/km pace and with a final right turn down Ali’i Drive towards the coveted finish, Ben was greeted by his sister, Belinda Ooi, as well as brother-in-law and national marathoner ONEathlete Mok Ying Ren. Both of them had turned up to lend their fullest support for Ben’s Kona debut, providing valuable support as family and also professional advice as athlete, physiotherapist and doctor in company.

Ben is looking forward to enjoy the remaining of his vacation on the tropical sunny Hawaiian paradise before working towards a local race come year end, for a gratifying finish to what has been a long training season for him.

 

“Competing with the best here at Kona has given me an appreciation of the possibilities ahead. Very honoured to have raced with this bunch of dedicated triathletes. Last but not least, I’m unspeakably grateful to the throngs of supporters who lined the streets and livened up the race atmosphere, as well as to have had my family here cheering me on, and throughout the lengthy lead-up to this day!”

Benjamin will like to put on record his deep appreciation to his family and friends, as well as ONEathlete, whose unwavering support over the past year made today’s result possible.


For further enquiries, kindly email jed@onemanagement.sg. Thank you.

Tough match, tough lessons, tough men – TeamSG Hockey Team

Press Release for SEA Games 2017 – Tan Yi Ru (National Hockey Team)

30 Aug 2017

 

Kuala Lumpur – After days of intense competition and hard-fought matches in the group stage, the 29th SEA Games Hockey Competition for Team SG drew to a close on 29 Aug 2017. In a tightly contested bronze medal showdown, Singapore Hockey Men’s team overcame Thailand to emerge victorious with a score of 2-1. 

 

Just 2 days earlier, these two teams had met in the group stage. Then, Singapore had led by 3 goals through most of the match before Thailand came fighting back with 2 quick goals. That match also ended narrowly 3-2 in Singapore’s favour. However, due to goal difference disadvantage, Singapore eventually missed out to Myanmar on qualifying for the gold medal match.

 


ONEathlete and veteran TeamSG hockey player Tan Yi Ru knew today’s bronze medal match would be as much a mental and tactical challenge. Unknown to others, memories of the earlier nail-biting finish against Thailand had affected some of the players’ preparation for today’s match against the same opponents.

However, being one of the more experienced players on the Singapore squad, Yi Ru stepped up to the plate and played a vital role in holding the backline defence to deprive Thailand opportunities to capitalise on, especially on the counter-attack. The team also reviewed their earlier matches and tightened their gameplay by focusing on greater consistency and reducing unnecessary mistakes. Such as, the ones that landed them slightly behind Myanmar (through match points), who fought hard against Malaysia in the finals and lost 14-0. Malaysia has held the Gold medal for every SEA Games, except in 1974.

 

Winning the SEA Games Bronze medal today was a bittersweet moment for Yi Ru, who still remembers the loss in the finals against Malaysia in 2013 and 2015. While there were several young players on this year’s team, the more experienced players like the team captain, Enrico (below photo, right), Ashriq, and Yi Ru lent their weight in providing support, advice and guidance.

“I’m very proud of my team, some of whom I have had the honour of knowing and training alongside for years. Our humbling defeat in the finals at the 2015 SEA Games had played a big role in giving us the strength to persevere today, especially during that tightly contested last quarter bronze medal match, today. Much as we had hoped to better our results from the previous SEA Games, we have given it our best shot although there is definitely room for improvement. Kudos to our opponent, the Thailand team, who had fought equally hard and showed great sportsmanship.”

 

Recalling his prep for the SEA Games, Yi Ru was also very heartened by the extent of support and cheering from the local crowd and Singaporean supporters. On top of that, Yi Ru is also very thankful to the invaluable and reassuring presence and encouragement from his family, friends and his fiancee. While hockey is a competitive sports, sometimes people tend to get engrossed in the win-lose aspect of the game and forget the celebration of common triumph, camaraderie and sportsmanship.

 

The team returned soon after to Singapore on Wednesday at 6pm. Amongst Yi Ru’s priorities after returning to Singapore will be the preparations for his wedding later this year, as well as taking some well-deserved rest off to reconnect with loved ones. He will also be diverting some attention to his coaching duties in their lead-up to the upcoming floorball competitions.

 

Photo credits: Team photos by Hafiz Rased. Rest by ONEathlete. 

For any enquiries on the press release, please feel free to contact jed@onemanagement.sg

Mok won – not gold or silver – but hearts and respect in Kuala Lumpur

Press Release for SEA Games 2017 Marathon – Mok Ying Ren



Kuala Lumpur – On the morning of 19 Aug 2017, after 2 hours 44 minutes of intense racing, TeamSG National Marathoner Mok Ying Ren (Managed by ONEathlete) finished strong in the men’s race which ended with a tightly contested 1-2 finish between Indonesia’s Agus Prayogo and Singapore’s Soh Rui Yong, with the latter securing the gold. The Malaysian duo finished 3rd and 4th in an emotion-filled run on home ground.  The sight of Soh and Agus fighting it out in the last lap was a fitting conclusion to what had been an eagerly anticipated race with one of the best marathon field the SEA Games has seen in recent years.

Mok’s finish of 2:44:15 was nearly 18 minutes off his personal best. The 29-year old doctor-marathoner was tested hard by the humid weather and a tactically-dominated race full of surges and changing leads that also saw one of the pre-race favourite, Thailand’s Boonthung Srisung, drop out in the last 10km. The race was conducted in the heart of Putrajaya on a 6-loop rectangular race route with multiple sharp turns.


“I go into every marathon expecting it to be challenging and today was no different. Having just started my surgical resident training I had to work twice, thrice as hard to give my all for this SEA Games. It was an all-out race effort so there is hardly any room for regret. It’s been a long journey and I’m very happy and thankful to have the support of my dearest wife, close friends, family, officials/staff, supporters and sponsors. Behind every athlete, there is a big ‘team’ like this! That’s the best part of this journey. ” said the 29-year-old doctor-athlete who had strived for a 3rd SEA Games gold medal juggling his training with the long hours as a orthopaedic surgical resident in training.


“I’m very humbled by all the supporters from Singapore, Malaysia and the other ASEAN countries! Even more touched by the love from the game host! This is the essence of the SEA Games!” Mok was cheered on by the crowds of supporters who chanted his name in support; and stayed on to take photos and selfie with the double SEA Games Gold medallist. The host country (especially) had certainly opened up their hearts to Singapore’s prolific doctor-marathoner.

A spokesperson from ONEathlete, which manages Mok Ying Ren said that, “It is heartening to see that Mok’s passion for his patients, didn’t deter his shot at his best! Congratulatory messages have been coming in, and we want to thank Singaporeans for such a great showing of support! Mok hopes that more people will lead healthy lives and ‘run with mok’. He is looking forward to engage the running community even more in the near future.” 


Attempting to win his third SEA Games Gold medal under such trying conditions was an emotional moment for Mok, in the months leading up. His immediate priorities after this race will be to move into his new flat and also prepare for his wedding banquet to be held later this year.