Home News What's behind the online spat between Commandos and runner Soh Rui Yong?

What’s behind the online spat between Commandos and runner Soh Rui Yong?

"True sportsmanship is to improve own limit in order to beat other competitors, not to throw meaningless challenges around for own glory."

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Singapore — There seem to be ongoing tensions between national marathoner Soh Rui Yong and some alumni of the Commando unit.

On Sept 4, the high-profile SEA Games champion made history by finishing a 2.4 km run under 7 minutes in the Pocari Sweat Singapore Challenge. 

There is an upcoming 2.4 km run, also sponsored by Pocari Sweat, on Oct 9 and 10. “This race is open to all members of the public. Especially all The Singapore Army sergeants and their grandmothers,” Mr Soh wrote in a Facebook post on Sept 5.

And then, on Sept 9, in another Facebook post, the runner posted the times of his lap splits for his record-setting run, but added, “Somehow, some people still think their ‘army/commando bmt mate who smokes” ran faster,’” together with a clown-face emoji.

The Commandos, it seems, did not take too kindly to this, and Mr Soh received flack for his remark.

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In another post, the runner wrote, “It has come to my attention that a number of former Singapore Army Commandos are taking offence to the last line of my previous post, and are doubling down on their claims, insisting that a sub 7 minute 2.4km is a common occurrence within the Commandos.”

He went on to explain that his words were not targeted against the Commandos specifically, but that he was making reference to statements of that sort.

Mr Soh expressed his “utmost respect” for the Commandos, due to the type of training they undergo, and added that he “certainly would not claim to be capable of everything they do, since I never received Commando training.”

However, he said that “Commandos would not be capable of running performances that even Singapore’s best distance runners have been incapable of. A sub-7:00 2.4km is one example, given that it had never been recorded until Saturday… I seriously doubt that many commandos, former or current, would be capable of running even 4 laps (1.6km) at that pace.”

Mr Soh then went on to offer the following challenge:

“Any Singaporean who runs sub-7:00 for 2.4km at next month’s Pocari Sweat Singapore 2.4km Run (Ground Race, 9-10 Oct) will receive $700 and 700 bottles of Pocari Sweat, both paid for by me.”

Some Commandos responded saying they had nothing to prove, to which the runner wrote, “Looks like a lot of the most noisy Commandos won’t be taking up the challenge already. Classic.”

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In the days that followed, the winnings have grown to double the money and number of Pocari Sweat bottles, 700 chicken rice meals, two massages, a Suunto watch, a voucher for $700 and 700 GB from Circle Life, $700 worth of Under Armour products, a free meal of 700g of karubi meat, one year supply of toilet paper, S.A.D Clothing worth $700 and 7 months of full access gym membership.

Meanwhile, over on The Commando Alumni Facebook page, it was business as usual. 

/TISG

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Read also: A tale of two runners—Soh Rui Yong will file defamation countersuit against Ashley Liew

A tale of two runners—Soh Rui Yong will file defamation countersuit against Ashley Liew

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