ASIAN GAMES: Tabal good for only 11th in women’s marathon
ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 26, 2018 07:38 PM
Olympian Mary Joy Tabal finished 11th in a tough 2018 Asian Games women's marathon field.
JAKARTA --- Mary Joy Tabal placed 11th in a tough women’s marathon field but remained the best Southeast Asian finisher in the 2018 Asian Games on Sunday morning in the race that finished at the Gelora Bung Karno Athletics’ Stadium.
The reigning Southeast Asian Games marathon champion clocked 2:51:41 in the ultra competitive marathon competition here, where she failed to crack the top 10, finishing the race 16 minutes and 50 seconds behind champion Rose Chelimo of Bahrain (2:34:51), the gold medalist in the 2017 World Championships in London with a time of 2:27:11.
The 29-year-old Tabal tried to stay with lead pack for 30 kilometers, but couldn’t keep up when eventual champion Chelimo, Keiko Nogami of Japan and Kim Hye Song of North Korea amped the pace the rest of the way in the 42.195-km race traveling through the main roads of Jakarta.
“I really tried my best, kaya lang talagang malakas ang pacing ng mga kalaban,” said Tabal, who trained for months in Tuscany, Italy. She also was not able to improve on the eighth-place finish of Christabel Martes (3:09:48) in the 2002 Busan Asian Games.
Tabal’s clocking here was also slower than the 2:48:26 she set in ruling the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore last year and the 2:43:31 time she did when she placed 8th during the Olympic qualifying 2016 Gold Label Road Races held in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, but it was enough to keep her status as the best marathoner in the SEA region.
Thailand’s Jane Vongvorachoti ranked 15th overall with 3:03:11 and was 28:20 off the pace, while her compatriot, Linda Janthachit placed 17th with 3:08:14 and trailed the champion by 33:23.
Nogami finished runner-up to Chelimo with her 2:36:27, just 1:36 behind, even as Kim salvaged the bronze (2:37:20), some 2:29 behind the winner.
Meanwhile, Kristina Knott was set to run in the semifinals of the 100m later in the day after qualifying with a time of 11.74 in heat 2.
Also, Eric Cray was scheduled to run straight in the semifinals of the 400m hurdles with Francis Medina, also later in the day after the heats were canceled due to lack of participants.