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Marathoner Soh Rui Yong misses out on Asian Games as Singapore set to send its largest contingent

SINGAPORE — Singapore is set to send its largest contingent of 382 athletes to the upcoming 19th Asian Games, but without controversial marathoner Soh Rui Yong.

Marathoner Soh Rui Yong misses out on Asian Games as Singapore set to send its largest contingent

The Singapore National Olympic Council said in a statement that it had "yet to find any satisfactory evidence to demonstrate changed behaviour and conduct by Soh Rui Yong (post-the SEA Games 2022 selection meeting) which would enable him to meet the non-performance related standards required".

SINGAPORE — Singapore is set to send its largest contingent of 382 athletes to the upcoming 19th Asian Games, but without controversial marathoner Soh Rui Yong.

The Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) said in a statement that it had "yet to find any satisfactory evidence to demonstrate changed behaviour and conduct by Soh Rui Yong (post-the SEA Games 2022 selection meeting) which would enable him to meet the non-performance related standards required".

"In the case of the nomination put forward by Singapore Athletics (SA) for Soh Rui Yong’s participation at the Asian Games, the selection committee has decided to reject SA’s nomination," an SNOC spokesperson said.

"Selection of athletes representing Singapore at the major Games is a responsibility of the SNOC as stipulated in the Olympic Charter. Nominations put forward by the National Sports Associations (NSA) must comply with the Olympic Charter," it added.

According to SNOC, Singapore Athletics had nominated Soh for the men's 10,000m event.

Soh was also left out of the 2019 and this year's Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, despite winning gold medals in the marathon event at the 2015 and 2017 editions.

Explaining its decision to omit him from the upcoming SEA Games in Hanoi, SNOC said in February that Soh was excluded because his conduct and behaviour have "continued to fall short" of the standards it expects of and holds its athletes to.

At the time, SNOC did not mention specific incidents involving Soh, who has been embroiled in several controversies during his career.

Perhaps the most prominent incident occurred after the 2015 SEA Games marathon event, when Soh was involved in a high-profile dispute with teammate Ashley Liew over the latter's account of events relating to his act of sportsmanship.

This led to a defamation suit mounted by Liew against Soh.

Soh lost the defamation suit and was ordered by a district court in September last year to pay Liew damages of S$180,000. He subsequently failed in his appeal.

The 19th Asian Games, comprising 482 events in 40 sports, takes place in Hangzhou, China from Sep 10 to Sep 25, 2022.

The SNOC Selection Committee, chaired by President of the SNOC, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, met on Monday (April 18) to "consider the nominations put forward by the National Sports Associations" and "decide on the athletes who have made the first cut to compete at the Games."

Athletes who have made the first cut include swimmers Joseph Schooling, Quah Zheng Wen and Quah Ting Wen, and badminton players Loh Kean Yew and Yeo Jia Min.

Athletes who have yet to meet the qualifying mark have till April 25 to meet the selection criteria to meet the selection criteria for the appeals committee to consider, the SNOC said.

At the previous Asian Games in Indonesia, Singapore sent 264 athletes, who came back with four gold, four silver and 14 bronze medals. CNA

For more reports like this, visit cna.asia.

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Soh Rui Yong Singapore National Olympic Council asian games Tan Chuan-Jin

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