Mok Ying Ren: A tough decision to withdraw from the 2015 SEA GAMES in Singapore

Earlier this month, elite Singaporean marathon runner Mok Ying Ren, 26, made a tough decision – to withdraw from the 2015 SEA Games, which would be held in Singapore in June. This means that he will not be able to defend the title that he famously won in 2013.

Mok Ying Ren, who won the SEA Games Marathon in 2013, made the tough decision to withdraw from the SEA Games 2015. (Photo: Yahoo Sports).

Mok Ying Ren, who won the SEA Games Marathon in 2013, made the tough decision to withdraw from the SEA Games 2015 due to injury.
(Photo: Yahoo Sports).

Explained Mok, a Captain (Doctor) in the Singapore Army, “It was a very tough decision for me to withdraw from the SEA Games. It has always been a part of the plan to represent Singapore on home ground – this is actually part of my three-year plan towards the Olympic Games in Rio De Janerio in 2016. I did not want to jeopardise the whole three-year plan by competing in the SEA Games though, as my body has just recovered from a spate of injuries, which have been very frustrating. I hope to be back in action soon.”

Mok’s friends and competitors were also sad to hear about his withdrawal

Two of Mok’s friends and national marathon competitors – Soh Rui Yong, 23 and Ashley Liew, 28 – were also sad to hear about his withdrawal. Come June, Soh and Liew will be representing Singapore at the SEA Games marathon.

Said Liew, a Chiropractic Intern at the Sherman College of Chiropractic in South Carolina, the United States, “I was sorry to hear about Mok’s withdrawal, which was not something I had anticipated. But I am confident he will bounce back, as he has done before and come back stronger. I believe he can look forward to a good shot at Rio 2016 qualification.”

Agreed Soh, a Business Administration student at the University of Oregon, in the United States, “I guess it is his decision and his health at stake, and I am sure he wants to compete at the SEA Games as much as possible. I mean, who doesn’t want to compete at the SEA Games on home soil? But if he had to pull out with an injury, it must have been pretty serious – to the extent that he has not been able to train or be in shape and cannot compete. But with his long-term dream to qualify for Rio in 2016, I guess that this is the right decision for him in the long term, for him to keep on running. I really hope he bounces back from this as it is a big loss to the running community and I would like to see him come back to represent Singapore again soon.”

Mok has been working hard at rehab, so that he can start running again soon.

Mok has been working hard at rehab, so that he can start running again soon.

Has been plagued with injuries since July last year

Mok has been injured since last July, when he fell victim to a shin injury which had forced him to drop out of the 2014 Commonwealth Games marathon. Explained Mok, “After my shin injury on my right shin last June, I developed a left gluteal problem in December last year after the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore. That persisted for two months and now I am slowly just getting out of it.”

“But I have been working very hard at rehab – with a physiotherapist at the Singapore Sports Institute, under the Singapore Sports Network – because I go to the hospital there. So I am hoping that this will help me to get out of all of this stronger,” added Mok.

Confident that his fellow Singaporeans will do well at the SEA Games

Nevertheless though, Mok is confident that his fellow Singaporeans, Soh and Liew, will be able to do Singapore proud in the SEA Games – and win the gold medal for Singapore, in his absence. He said, “I think Rui Yong and Ashley are definitely ready to take on the challenge. Both of them have been trained in the USA and for the past couple of years, they have been exposed to a very great depth of running with experienced coaches – so I think they will fare really well.”

Will be training in the States and focusing on qualifying for the 2016 Olympics

To help achieve his goals of qualifying for the Olympics in 2016, Mok will be doing an overseas stint in the United States, which will start towards the end of next month. He added, “With my injuries, the plan right now is to get to the USA in one piece and be ready to train. I will be leaving in one month’s time, so I hope this injury fully recovers by then. I will have to cut my timing down to 2 hours and 18 minutes and if I have an entire year of injury-free training, I am confident that things will go well and that everything will turn out ok for me. After all, the coach can only do his magic if the athlete is injury-free.”

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