KUALA LUMPUR: Marathoner Tan Huong Leong is set to feature in the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in August.
The 29-year-old clocked a personal best of 2’28:19 to break the national record in the 42km race in the Tokyo Marathon on Sunday.
His time beat the SEA Games qualifying mark (2’35:00) by more than six minutes.
Huong Leong, who is based in Taiwan, finished 123rd in the race.
His effort bettered the previous national mark of 2’28:36 set by Woo Chan Yew in a marathon in Montreal, Canada, in 2010.
National chief coach Zainal Abas was full of praise for Huong Leong.
“He will be drafted into the SEA Games training squad.
“We have few other men marathon runners.
“But the final list of runners for the SEA Games will be decided in July,” said Zainal.
The other marathon runners are Shaharudin Hashim, Mohd Jironi Riduan and Muhaizar Mohamad, who won the KL Standard Chartered marathon last year in the local category.
The 30-year-old Jironi, who finished second in the KL Standard Chartered marathon last year, admitted that it would be tough for him to earn a place in the SEA Games in August.
“I have a personal best of 2’39:58, so it’s going to be a challenge for me to improve and beat the qualifying mark of 2’35:00.
“I will still try my best to achieve it at the KL Standard Chartered marathon on May 16,” said Jironi, who won two golds – in the 800m and 1,500m – in the 2013 Myanmar SEA Games before switching to marathon two years ago.