As many will know by now, Singaporean marathoner Neo Jie Shi completed a difficult marathon at the Olympic Games under the searing Rio heat yesterday.
This was because as the runners had begun the marathon at 9.30 am (Rio Time) in the morning, it had been already past noon and very warm, when Jie Shi crossed the finishing line.
SHE FINISHED IN 131ST POSITION
Jie Shi’s finishing time had been 3 hours 15 minutes and 18 seconds and she had came in 131st position out of the 133 finishers. So 24 runners had failed to complete the race.
The marathoner didn’t manage to run a personal best though. Her best timing is 3 hours 9 minutes and 57 seconds, which had been clocked at the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon this year.
Jie Shi herself had said in an interview with The Straits Times, that while she had been slightly disappointed about not making a personal best, she’d still had a really memorable time at the Olympics, with supporters from all over the world, cheering her on throughout the entire route.
Though she did not win any medals for Singapore by participating in Rio, Jie Shi’s journey from an everyday runner to an Olympian is already a fairy-tale in itself, though.
Having only taken up running during her university days, Jie Shi had never dared to dream that she would represent her country on the Olympic stage. Yet she has become only the second Singaporean marathoner – since Yvonne Danson in 1996 – to do so.
PRESSED ON TO DO HER COUNTRY PROUD
Watching the footage of Jie Shi completing the marathon and running into the stadium, she looked as though she was struggling, due to the thankless Rio heat, yet she still pressed on to continue, in order to do Singapore proud.
In fact, I had almost teared when watching Jie Shi running across the finishing arch, holding her hands high up in victory.
RUNNERS ARE PROUD OF JIE SHI
And runners all over Singapore were definitely proud of Jie Shi too, based on the flood of supportive comments that she had been receiving via her Facebook and Instagram social media pages.
Said Syafiq Pendulum via Facebook, “Congrats Jieshi Neo for finishing the marathon in Rio. I’m sure you ran your best. My mum and I watched the whole race all the way.”
Added Ching Leo, also via Facebook, “Well done Jie Shi. You have given your best as an Olympian. Proud of you.”
JIE SHI’S MOTIVATING AND INSPIRING STORY
Jie Shi’s inspiring fairy-tale story from recreational runner to Olympian certainly has the potential to motivate the local running community.
If a self-coached runner like Jie Shi can hold down a full-time office job and make it to the Olympics, then the sky is indeed the limit for everyone out there in terms of realising their potential in running.