AirAsia's $100k funding lifts Mok

AirAsia's $100k funding lifts Mok

The starting pistol has sounded and Mok Ying Ren is on his long journey of reaching the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics finish line.

A timing of 2hr 28min 35sec won him a gold at last December's Myanmar SEA Games, the first Singapore man to achieve that feat.

It also won him sponsors who are willing to back him in six-figure deals - the latest of which is a partnership with AirAsia covering flights for the next three years.

But even with the sponsorship - which is worth $100,000 and will cover his flights for overseas training and races - the 26-year-old still falls short of the most crucial figure that lies between him and his dream of becoming the first Singapore man to run the 42.195km race at the Olympics: 2:18, the Olympic "B" qualification standard.

What he is not short on, however, is confidence. He remains positive he will be able to shave his current personal best of 2:26:30 down to meet that mark.

"There is still a lot of work to do," he told The Straits Times yesterday. "I need uninterrupted training from now till (the 2016 Olympics)."

Currently serving his national service, Mok is a staff medical officer on duty till 5.30pm every day.

He also has to run a 24-hour medical centre twice a month.

While training is not ideal, it is "uninterrupted" enough for him.

That means devoting about three hours daily to training, running twice a day and clocking about 120km every week.

Said Mok: "I have quite consistent working hours and I've been given a room to stay in camp so that I can train and work, which saves me a lot of time on travelling.

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