Tabal good to go to Rio Olympics
ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 15, 2016 05:25 PM
Marathon bet Mary Joy Tabal will compete in Rio Olympics after her reinstatement to the national team. (Photo courtesy of Motor Ace Racing Philippines Facebook page)
Cebuana marathon star Mary Joy Tabal received the green light to compete in the Rio Olympics after the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) reinstated her to the national team.
In a statement signed by the sports’ national governing body head Philip Ella Juico dated June 14, Tabal will participate in the August 5 to 21 Games as the seventh Pinoy athlete that met the qualification standard of the quadrennial multi-sports spectacle.
Tabal surpassed the Olympic qualifying time of two hours and 45 minutes in the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon in Ottawa, Canada with a registered time of 2:43.29.
Tabal and PATAFA parted ways with the long-distance specialist as the athletics body wanted her to participate in just two races to protect her from injury but the marathoner wanted to compete in a lot of lucrative commercial races.
“We have long wanted to protect Mary Joy Tabal and we have questioned her racing schedule and its effects on her ability to sustain steady improvements over time,” according to the statement. “However, we also recognize she did qualify on her own.”
“So we put our differences aside, we reinstated her, and we have allowed her to follow her own training program, despite our concerns. And we hope for the best in Rio for the nation.”
The agreement allowed Tabal to train according to her plans.
“Notwithstanding our reservations about Mary Joy’s athletic activities and decisions, we strongly feel that it is to her best interest to follow the regimen and program she and her personal coaches have since adopted when they started aiming for the Olympic qualifying standard all the way to the competition day at the Olympics,” according to the letter.
PATAFA will throw its support to Tabal during the Olympics only.
“Representation for technical and ministerial concerns, through designated national coach who will accompany her, prior to and during competition will be the only instance where PATAFA commits to involve itself in her Rio Olympics participation. She and her sponsor will have the liberty to bring her personal coaches to Rio at their own expense.”
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 Hidilyn Diaz (weightlifting).