Marathoner Ashley Liew first Singaporean to receive international fair play accolade

Marathoner Ashley Liew first Singaporean to receive international fair play accolade

The trophy is for the act of fair play Liew displayed during last year's SEA Games, when he slowed down to wait for lead runners to catch up after they had missed a turn, effectively reducing his chance of winning a medal.

Ashley Liew after finishing 2015 SEA Games marathon
Marathoner Ashley Liew (centre), flanked by former Singapore Athletics president Tang Weng Fei (right) and SNOC president Tan Chuan-Jin (left). (Photo: SNOC)

SINGAPORE: Local marathoner Ashley Liew is the first Singaporean to be awarded the Pierre de Coubertin World Fair Play Trophy in the "Act of Fair Play" category, according to a press release by the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) on Friday (Sep 16).

The award, given by the International Committee for Fairplay - the global organisation that recognises acts of fair play by sportspeople or teams - is for Liew's act of sportsmanship at last year's SEA Games held in Singapore.

On Jun 7 last year, during the marathon competition, the lead pack of runners missed a U-turn in the dark about 5.5km into the race and Liew found himself in the lead. But instead of taking advantage, the 29-year-old decided to slow down and wait for the other runners to catch up.

"With his act of sportsmanship, Ashley effectively reduced his own chances of obtaining a medal position, which was within grasp. The recorded personal best timings of the runners showed that Ashley had a reasonable shot at attaining a podium finish, especially since the race was on home ground," the press release said.

The athlete will attend the 2015 World Fair Play Awards ceremony, which will take place in Budapest, Hungary, on Oct 15 to receive the trophy, it added.

Liew said: "I was shocked to hear that I have received the award from the International Fair Play Committee. To follow in the footsteps of Olympians such as US' Abbey D’Agostino and New Zealand's Nikki Hamblin, who have displayed exemplary sportsmanship, is truly humbling.”

Source: CNA/kk