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Singapore Open Timely as Preparation for SEA Games Ramps Up: Jeevanesh Soundararajah

Singapore's Pocari Sweat 2.4km Challenge Winner plans to use 1,500m event to better his longer distances

Singapore middle distance runner Jeevan is looking forward to his second SEA Games and the 82nd Singapore Open. PHOTO: FELIX GALISTAN SPORTPLUS.SG

He made the headlines when he broke Soh Rui Yong's 2.4km record to win the Pocari Sweat 2.4km Challenge in January and won the event.

Having donated 400 packets of chicken rice, Jeevanesh Soundararajah has now set his sights on a bigger milestone - the 1,500m event at the 31st SEA Games next month, with the 82nd Singapore Open Track and Field Championships likely to play a pivotal role as part of his preparations.

Jeevan made the switch from 5,000m to 1,500m for this year's Singapore Open and SEA Games. PHOTO: FELIX GALISTAN SPORTPLUS.SG

The 29 year-old, who will be making his second appearance at the Southeast Asian Games, first made his bow in the competition at the 2015 Singapore SEA Games in the 5,000m event.

So what was the reason for the switch to the shorter 1,500m, and how are preparations different for the two?

"The recent shift was because I found 1,500m to be a more achievable qualifying mark for the SEA Games, and it was also a new challenge for me in terms of training for this event - it is shorter and a lot speedier," said Jeevan.

"I believe these speed trainings would also help me for my 5k and for other longer distances. And because of the 1,500m, my 800m timing has also improved, and you can also see how it went for the 2.4km Pocari Sweat Challenge. All these middle distance events train me to be a better runner, which will help me in the longer run."

Jeevan will be making his second SEA Games appearance next month in Hanoi. PHOTO: FELIX GALISTAN SPORTPLUS.SG

With the 31st SEA Games in Hanoi less than 30 days away, Jeevan believes the Singapore Open is a great opportunity to help him gauge his readiness for the multi-sport spectacle.

"We're just one month away from the SEA Games, so I think it's ideal preparation for me in terms of knowing where I am at in one month's time when I compete."

He added, "The Singapore Open will have runners from Malaysia, Indonesia; so it's a good competition where I can compete in, to see where I stand and then move forward for the SEA Games."

His preparations for the Games have certainly not been easy with Covid-19 throwing a wrench into the good rhythm he had built up leading up into 2020.

Jeevan stretching before his training at Home of Athletics. PHOTO: FELIX GALISTAN SPORTPLUS.SG

The Singapore middle-distance runner enthused: "I was training quite well in 2019, and I started work as as well after I graduated in 2018. So in 2019 I was working, and trying to find the rhythm. I managed to find the rhythm, and started training but in 2020 Covid hit and that's where the cancellations came in and there was a loss of motivation for me there."

Despite the setback, in December 2020 Jeevan decided to train up again for the SEA Games, which was initially slated to happen in 2021, and he managed to hit the qualifying mark for the 1,500m event after training for 5-6 months.

His resilience will be tested in the coming weeks on the road to Hanoi, but first there's the small matter of the Singapore Open for Jeevan to navigate this weekend. We wish him the very best.

The 82nd Singapore Open Track and Field Championships will take place from 16-17 April 2022 at the Home of Athletics, Stadium Boulevard, Singapore 397804.

The competition will be streamed live on Singapore Athletics' Facebook page, while specators are also allowed inside the venue to support and cheer on the athletes.


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