2019 SEA Games Marathon champions fail to defend marathon titles as Vietnam and Thailand top athletics medal tally of 31st SEA Games
Thailand's Tony Payne leading the men's marathon race early on. PHOTO: CHERYL TAY, SPORTPLUS.SG
Hanoi, Vietnam, 20 May 2022 - Vietnam and Indonesia have swept the 31st SEA Games marathon titles, as Vietnam bags a first ever gold medal in the men's marathon in the Southeast Asian Games.
27 year-old Vietnamese Hoang Nguyen Thanh crossed the finish line in the My Dinh Stadium in 2 hours and 25:08 minutes, to secure the 127th gold medal for host nation Vietnam in the medal tally.
Watch highlights of the 31st SEA Games marathon and post race inteview clips with Singapore's athletes here on SPORTPLUS.SG
Hoang was previously a bronze medalist for the marathon event at the Singapore 2015 SEA Games. 2019 SEA Games gold medalist Agus Prayogo snagged the silver medal for Indonesia with a time of 2:25:38 as he just narrowly failed to defend his title, while Thailand's Tony Payne came in third at 2:26:40, having led the race for a lengthy duration in the men's event.
Malaysia's Noor Amelia Musa turning a corner in the women's marathon race at the 31st SEA Games. PHOTO: CHERYL TAY, SPORTPLUS.SG
The women's marathon also saw a new winner as Indonesia’s Odekta Naibaho bagged gold, crossing the finish line with a time of 2 hours and 55.28 minutes. Christine Hallasgo of the Philippines, winner of the 2019 SEA Games women's marathon, settled for silver with a time of 2 hours and 56.07 minutes.
Singapore's Melvin Wong during the men's marathon event at the 31st SEA Games. PHOTO: CHERYL TAY, SPORTPLUS.SG
Hallasgo finished a minute short of defending the gold she won in the 2019 SEA Games despite eclipsing her gold medal run timing of 2:56:56. Vietnam’s Hoang Thi Ngoc Hoa claimed the bronze at 2:57.35 to complete the top three.
Flag off for the men's marathon finals at the 31st SEA Games. PHOTO: CHERYL TAY, SPORTPLUS.SG
Singapore, notably without double gold medal winner Soh Rui Yong for the second SEA Games running, took to the race with Melvin Wong (2:45:42), Daniel Leow (3:02:03), Jasmine Goh (3:10:33) and Sharon Tan (3:22:52) to complete a field of 20 endurance athletes at the 31st SEA Games Marathon.
Daniel Leow of Singapore was one of two representatives for the men's marathon. PHOTO: CHERYL TAY, SPORTPLUS.SG
Under difficult race conditions that saw three men's competitors including Muhaizar Mohamad of Malaysia and Jerald Zabala of the Philippines retiring prematurely, Singapore representative Melvin Wong also struggled and collapsed after crossing the finishing line in the My Dinh Stadium.
Wong, 39, shared with SportPlus.sg: "It was a tough race, we had eight loops to conquer and there wasn't anywhere to hide."
The women's marathon event saw a field of seven competitors. PHOTO: CHERYL TAY, SPORTPLUS.SG
"I told myself every lap I look forward to the lady behind the camera now, the water point, the supporters and that's what kept me going. I'm very glad to finish the race and I look forward to reconnecting with everyone back at home."
Singapore's Jasmine Goh, mother of two, poses for the cameras post race. PHOTO: CHERYL TAY, SPORTPLUS.SG
His female compatriot Jasmine Goh, competing in her second SEA Games, was in jovial and gracious mood despite the gruelling event, saying she "had fun" with Team Singapore, and thanked Vietnam for being good hosts of the event.
Singapore's Sharon Tan, winner of the 2019 Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon Women's Event, entering her final lap in the My Dinh Stadium. PHOTO: CHERYL TAY, SPORTPLUS.SG
"Despite my age, I can still represent Singapore this is such an honour. Those back home, thank you for rooting for Team Singapore, we'll be back soon and I would like to congratulate the Track and Field team who did really well this time," said the 43 year-old single mother of two.
Vietnam tops the athletics competitions for the third straight SEA Games with 22 golds, 15 silvers, and 8 bronzes, while Thailand places second with 12 golds, 11 silvers, and 8 bronzes. The Philippines finished overall third in the athletics medal tally, taking home 5 golds, 7 silvers, and 14 bronzes.