Top Singapore marathoner, Mok Ying Ren, has set a new national record in the half-marathon distance with a time of 1:07:53 at the Ageo City Half Marathon in Japan on Sunday morning.
Mok, who will be representing the nation at the upcoming SEA Games in Myanmar next month, is in Japan for a month-long intensive training stint in an attempt to take his performance to the next level and based on his showing at the Ageo City Half Marathon, the move is proving to be a wise one.
Mok, who is currently on a one month of no-pay leave, has been in Japan as part of his preparation for the SEA Games since the end of October and have since clocked two personal best times in both the 10k and the half marathon distance.
He became the first Singaporean to go under 32mins for the 10k since Pehind C. Suppiah in 1973 with a personal best time of 31:55 at the Nittaidai 10k time trial in October.
Mok has followed that up with an incredible performance over the half marathon distance, shaving 25 seconds off his personal best to break the national record at the Ageo City Half Marathon.
The result also qualifies Mok for the World Half Marathon Championships in Denmark next March.
“Training in Japan has really developed me as an athlete. Having the opportunity to work out with world-class athletes such as the Asian Duathlon champion, Yuya Fukaura, as well as top university runners has definitely helped raise my game both physically and mentally. In addition, races with such a strong field are very common here and that has provided me with a platform to run and learn from the best.”
While Mok celebrates these milestones in his performances, he remains focused on his ultimate objective – qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games and representing Singapore on the biggest stage in Rio. All these are just signs pointing him in the right direction.