'Your move': Fastest 2.4km runner Soh Rui Yong challenges anyone to a sub-7 run, netizens call for encik's grandmother to take him on

PHOTO: Facebook/Soh Rui Yong

Ever since top national marathoner Soh Rui Yong clocked an unprecedented timing of 6 minutes and 53 seconds for his 2.4km race last Saturday (Sept 4), he's had a lot to deal with — such as comments from naysayers undermining his achievement. 

Some of these comments also said that a sub-7 minute 2.4km timing was common for those in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) — notably those in the elite forces like the commandos and naval divers.

Screengrab/Facebook

'Open challenge' 

Not letting these comments get him down, on Thursday (Sept 9), the 30-year-old sought to defend his achievement by issuing an 'open challenge' on his Facebook page. 

|An Open Challenge| It has come to my attention that a number of former Singapore Army Commandos are taking offence to...

Posted by Soh Rui Yong(苏睿勇) on Wednesday, September 8, 2021

"At the end of the day, it's easy to make extraordinary claims without proof. Let's settle the debate once and for all," he wrote in the post which has been shared over 1,000 times. 

He is now challenging any Singaporean — commando or not — to clock a sub-7 minute timing at the Pocari Sweat Singapore 2.4km Run, from Oct 9 to 10. 

Anyone able to accomplish this will receive $700 and 700 bottles of Pocari Sweat, paid for out of Soh's pocket he said in the post.

'Someone get Encik's grandmother too' 

Of course, the Internet went wild. Singaporean blogger Mr Brown reposted Soh's challenge with a cheeky comment that made reference to a commonly-heard phrase in the SAF — "My grandmother can run faster than you!" 

Others also chimed in to call upon the mythical speedy grandmas to take Soh on: 

Screengrab/Reddit

Then there were some that took the opportunity to highlight said grandma's stellar speed. 

Screengrab/Facebook
Screengrab/Reddit

Defending his timing, or mere marketing ploy? 

Athletic Singaporean grandmas aside, some netizens did point out that this open challenge could very well just be a marketing ploy for the Pocari Sweat event, slated to take place early next month. 

Some also noted that it was likely that neither Soh nor the sports drink company would have to fork out a single cent in prize money, as the former's record is considerably difficult to beat. 

Screengrab/Reddit
Screengrab/Reddit

Only two questions remain: Will anyone dare to take up the challenge, and can encik's grandma really run faster?

claudiatan@asiaone.com