Olympics marathon qualifier Tabal in danger of missing trip

ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 01, 2016 09:45 AM
Olympics marathon qualifier Tabal in danger of missing trip
Cebuana marathon star and Rio Olympics qualifier Mary Joy Tabal (Photo courtesy of Motor Ace Racing Philippines Facebook page)

Cebuana marathon star Mary Joy Tabal’s journey to Rio Olympics could hit a dead end unless she submits a reinstatement letter to Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association.    

The long-distance specialist surpassed the Olympic qualifying time of two hours and 45 minutes in the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon in Ottawa, Canada over the weekend, making her the seventh Filipino to qualify for a spot in the Summer Games.

Tabal registered 2:43.29 in the prestigious race billed as one of the only two events certified as a gold label road race by the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF), similar to other prestigious races like the Tokyo Marathon, New York Marathon and Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.

But Tabal is no longer a member of the national team.    

PATAFA president Philip Ella Juico said that Tabal left the federation because she wanted to compete in a lot of commercial races that is contrary to Patafa’s policy of limiting its athletes’ participation to only two races a year.

Tabal has to send a letter of reinstatement to the Patafa coaches’ commission, which will then forward it to the powerful Patafa executive board for final approval.

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) vowed to dole out an all-out support to Tabal provided that she will be endorsed by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) to compete in the Olympics this August.

“We will wait for words from the POC,” said PSC chairman Richie Garcia Tuesday. “The POC has to talk to Patafa and decide on what they should do on Tabal’s case. If Patafa will refuse to endorse her, the POC has to take control. It is the governing body, so it has the power to decide whether to send Tabal to the Olympics or not.”

“We are mandated to support athletes endorsed by the POC.”

Other Pinoy athletes that earned a golden ticket to the Olympics are Fil-American Eric Cray (athletics), Ian Lariba (table tennis), Kirstie Elaine Alora (taekwondo), Rogen Ladon and Charly Suarez (boxing) and Hidlyn Diaz (weightlifting).

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