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KENYAN CLEAN SWEEP AS MAISEI AND CHANGEYWO WIN STANDARD CHARTERED MARATHON SINGAPORE 2015

 Mok Ying Ren and Neo Jie Shi take line honours for Singapore as cube-man Ranjith breaks new world record in nation’s marquee distance running event.

SINGAPORE, 6 December 2015 – Kenya completed a clean sweep in the men’s category of the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) 2015 today. Led over the line by 33-year-old Julius Kiplimo Maisei in a time of 02:17:26, the east African nation bagged all top ten places in the IAAF Gold Label Road Race.

A tight finish saw the top three separated by a mere 12 seconds, with Chelimo Luka Kipkemoi taking second place with a time of 02:17:32 and Barnaba Kibii securing the final podium place with a time of 02:17:38.

Competing for his first time in Singapore, Maisei said: “I’m happy to win, my first time competing here in Singapore. It is very, very humid. Sweating a lot. Good to have other Kenyans to run with me. I did not expect this humidity but I decided to try my best.”

A former winner in Hong Kong in 2013 and Macao in 2013 and 2014, Maisei added: “When my friend told me there’s 1KM [to go], I tried my luck to accelerate from them. And I push and push and push.”

The women’s category was won by fellow Kenyan Doris Chepkwemoi Changeywo in a time of 02:44:26. Competing in her first ever marathon, the 31-year-old finished with a 15 second margin over second placed Peninah Jerop Arusei (02:44:41). With Kenya securing the top six places in the women’s category, third place went to 2013 winner Sharon Jemutai Cherop with a time of 02:44:53.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games 10KM silver medallist dedicated her maiden marathon victory to her son and daughter, adding, “The race today – it was difficult because it’s a new race for me. I am happy to be the winner today. Happy because it’s my first time in Singapore and a first real marathon. It was really happy for me. The weather is very hot because in Kenya we have too much rain and cold. But when I arrived here I was only thinking to finish the race and not even thinking to win because of the hot weather.”

Amongst the Singapore runners, Mok Ying Ren once again claimed line honours in a time of 02:43:06, more than eight minutes ahead of second placed Fang Jianyong (02:51:49) and Evan Chee (02:56:51).

Speaking after his SCMS back-to-back win, Mok said: “I’m quite happy with the performance today. I’ve been training in US for six months while studying. While I am here I decided to take part in this marathon. It’s a great pleasure to represent the non-Kenyans in this event!”

“Timing wise, my training has been consistent. Last week I ran a good season best for 5km. I’m in good shape, will try not to get any injury and want to get into Olympics in March”, added the 27 year old.

Singapore’s leading woman, Jie Shi Neo recorded a time of 03:15:06 which was enough to secure her 10th place overall in the women’s full marathon category. Said Neo: “I came to the race with no expectations except to run my own race. The competition today was very intensive. I am very happy because my target was about 3:15 and I managed to meet my expectations.”

Meanwhile, the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2015 saw Singapore’s Ranjith Vijayan successfully complete a Guinness World Record attempt for solving the most number of Rubik Cubes during a full marathon. The 39-year-old Singaporean completed 200 cubes over the 42KM distance, finishing within a five-hour time limit.*

The computer programmer from the East side finished with a time of 04:55:59, leaving four minutes and one second to spare. Speaking after his successful attempt, the father of two said:

“I am absolutely delighted to have solved 200 Rubik’s Cubes at SCMS 2015. Right now I feel absolutely exhausted but equally exhilarated. I can’t ask for any more. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the organisers of Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore for everything they have done to help facilitate this Guinness World Record attempt. It’s been a wonderful experience and something I will remember for the rest of my life.”

“The last 10KM was the toughest because of the heat. I am very thankful to my pacers who pushed me to the fullest. The other runners were also very supportive and cheered me on during the race – it really helped motivate me,” adding, “I hope to inspire more people especially those who work long hours.”

SCMS 2015 saw some 50,000 participants take to the streets of Singapore to compete in five different categories over the weekend.

Speaking about the success of this year’s event, Mr Toh Boon Yi, Chief of Strategic Development and Marketing Group, Sport Singapore, said: “On behalf of Sport Singapore, I would like to offer the warmest congratulations to Julius Kiplimo Maisei and Doris Chepkwemoi Changeywo, both of Kenya, winners of the men’s and women’s full marathons respectively. I must also give a special mention to our local runners, Jie Shi Neo, who finished in a remarkable 10th place overall in the women’s marathon, a tremendous effort.”

Judy Hsu, CEO Singapore, Standard Chartered Bank, said: “Congratulations to Ranjith Vijayan, and to all the runners who have demonstrated such courage and determination to go the distance! I am delighted to see so many members of the public coming out to support the SCMS in their own way. What a magnificent way to wrap up the Golden Jubilee for Singapore – thank you for all your support.”

Chris Robb, CEO of event organiser Spectrum Worldwide, added, “We have had two wonderful days at SCMS and well deserved champions across all categories. The event has shown once again why it is the benchmark for mass participation events in Singapore. I must take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks to Sport Singapore, Standard Chartered Bank and other sponsors and partners for their support, and extend my appreciation to everyone who has contributed to the continued success of SCMS.