He ran one of his best races ever at the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) 2013 and was absolutely sure that he had come in second. But to his utter shock and disbelief, Alex Ong, 26, found that he had been disqualified because of technical issues with his running chip not being recorded by three of the timing mats along the race route.
Yesterday at 5pm, the trainee PE teacher and top local runner was later rightfully reinstated into second position for the SCMS that came with a $5,000 prize. While he is much more relieved and happy now, he still has a twinge of sadness that he missed out on his chance to actually stand on the podium.
I caught up with Alex and got a few words from him about his disqualification at the StanChart marathon. To find out what Alex said, do read on.
Before you started the race, where did you think you would finish?
I didn’t think about where I would finish, as I was more concerned about not blowing up at the later stages of the race.
What was your strategy for having such a good race?
Mok (Ying Ren), (Ang) Chee Yong, (Soon) Suan Boon, Derek (Li) and myself were running in a pack which made the run more “enjoyable.”
Any tips you can share with readers?
Pacing is very important when running the marathon.
When you crossed the finishing line, what was in your mind?
Thankful to have finished the race. And to congratulate and thank Mok for pacing me!
How did you feel when you found out you were disqualified?
I was surprised initially. But Suan Boon was a gentleman! He immediately highlighted the mistake to the organizers who were adamant that the result would stand. Suan Boon is a shining example of a runner who is intrinsically motivated and passionate about running. (Suan Boon was initially announced as having come second).
What was the problem that led to you being disqualified?
According to the organizers, my timing was not recorded on three checkpoints (on the timing mats). Therefore, they had to disqualify me.
What did you do, after you learnt of your disqualification?
I made an appeal to the organizers.
What was the reason given for overturning your disqualification?
Due to “technical issues”, many runners, like myself, received a DQ as the sensors couldn’t detect our running chips at certain checkpoints. (So the organizer, Spectrum Worldwide, rectified this problem).
Anything else you would like to say?
I would like to take this opportunity to generate awareness for SportCares. My family and friends have also been very supportive and encouraging throughout the appeal process. Like how they have made me feel blessed during this period, I would like to donate $1000 to SportCares too, to support those in need. It’s also in my belief, as a PE teacher, that sport is empowerment. Together, let’s make Singapore a nation rich in sporting culture.
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