Mok's going to sweat

Mok's going to sweat

Day One: Book out of camp.

Day Two: Try to win at least a medal in the men's marathon at the South-east Asia (SEA) Games in Naypyidaw, Myanmar.

Day Three: Return to camp.

That's what Mok Ying Ren's schedule will look like in just over two weeks' time.

While most of Team Singapore's athletes are tapering their training plans as the SEA Games approach, the 25-year-old doctor will begin a three-month medical officer conversion course on Monday as part of his National Service (NS) commitments.

Mok, who yesterday inked a deal to be isotonic drink Pocari Sweat's first ambassador, has been tipped by Singapore Athletic Association (SAA) president Tang Weng Fei to win the Republic's first men's marathon gold at this year's SEA Games from Dec 11 to 22.

While he admits the lead-up to the Games is not ideal, Mok accepts he is bound to face obstacles as he aims to reach his ultimate goal of qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

"For the SEA Games, I'll book out on the 15th (Dec), run on the 16th and come back on the 17th," he said.

"Ultimately, this is a course and we all have to go through the training to pass out as officers.

"I guess it's part and parcel of being a (male) Singapore athlete - going through NS.

"It's a stay-in course, so that's the most challenging thing (and) I will only get to train properly on the weekends, and in between the army training when I have free time.

OFFICE-HOURS JOB

"But after the three months, I'll probably be in an office-hours job so it's not so much of a problem."

Mok has the ability to win in Myanmar.

His personal best is 2hr 26min and 30sec, faster than the 2011 SEA Games gold-winning effort of 2:27:45.

Mok, who will be running in tomorrow's Standard Chartered Marathon, spoke excitedly about his new partnership with Pocari Sweat, which will see him conduct running clinics in the lead-up to the Pocari Sweat Run next year.

The one-year endorsement deal will see the beverage company help fund part of his training expenses and equipment, although he admits he is still about $40,000 short of the $100,000 he requires to fund a training plan for Rio.

He said: "I've worked with Pocari Sweat for a few years already because they are very active in the running scene. Also they are one of the few sports drinks companies that focus on grassroots work, which I really believe in.

"They go down to schools, communities to support running programmes, share (information) about hydration and so on."

Puspita Winawati, the country sales and marketing manager for Pocari Sweat manufacturers Otsuka Pharmaceutical, said: "Our company's goal is to be a total healthcare company... and Mok has a medical background and leads a very active lifestyle. That's why we chose him."

I guess it's part and parcel of being a (male) Singapore athlete - going through NS (National Service). - Mok Ying Ren on his less-than-ideal SEA Games preparation


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