SINGAPORE marathoner Mok Ying Ren is headed for Japan in a bid to break the longest-standing running mark - the 10,000m - in the country's record books.
The 25-year-old doctor intends to make P.C. Suppiah's 40-year-old mark his own as part of his preparations to win the 42.2km road race gold at December's SEA Games.
Mok, who will leave for Tokyo next Thursday to compete in the Nittaidai Sports University time trials two days later, said: "So far, so good.
"I have not done a proper time trial for the event yet but my training times have been good and I have also stayed injury-free."
The last occasion Mok officially timed his 10,000m was three years ago when he clocked 33min 20sec. Suppiah's record stands at 31:19.00.
Mok, who believes that he will be aided by the favourable climate and strong field in Japan, is confident that he will meet Suppiah's mark.
The holder of the national 5,000m record said: "It will be good weather there, about 10 to 15 deg C.
"With the good competitive field - with many runners about my standard - I should be able to take it up to the next level."
After all, the land of the rising sun has been kind to him.
It was also in Tokyo, at the 2011 Tokai University time trials, that he clocked his 5,000m national record of 14:51.09.
After the Nittaidai Sports University race, Mok will continue with a month-long training camp in Tokyo and will also compete in the Ageo City Half-Marathon on Nov 17.
With the successful completion of his Japanese training stint as well as the two races, he hopes to be ready for the Dec 11-22 Games in Myanmar.
The former triathlete, who took the triathlon crown at the 2007 edition of the biennial event, looks to be a strong contender for the marathon gold this time.
He timed 2:26:30 at July's Gold Coast Marathon, which is faster than Indonesian Yahuza's 2011 gold-winning effort of 2:27:45.
But the Singaporean's ultimate goal is to become the nation's first male Olympic marathoner at Rio 2016.
To this end, he is putting his medical career on hold and has been raising funds and looking for sponsors to assist him as he chases a slice of history.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.