Tabal falls short on new PR bid, but still wins race
CEBUANA Olympian Mary Joy Tabal didn’t log a new personal record but still emerged champion in the women’s 21-kilometer race of the 23rd Jeju International Tourism Marathon Festival in South Korea yesterday.
The 28-year old Cebuana Tabal, a 2017 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist and a qualifier for women’s marathon in the 2016 Rio Olympics, clocked one hour, 18 minutes and 44 seconds to win her first international race this year.
“I am happy because I made it for the first place and made my country proud again and I feel great after the race,” said Tabal, who is in the middle of her training in Italy in preparation for her stint in the upcoming Asian Games in Indonesia this August.
Tabal was hoping to surpass her 21k personal best but fell almost two minutes short. Her current personal record in the 21k stands at 1:16.29.
“I wasn’t able to beat my personal record but I am happy with my performance, given the things to consider like the hills, the wind direction and the warm weather,” Tabal said.
Tabal’s 21k personal record is supposed to be the Philippine 21k women’s record since she beat the time of record holder Mercedita Manipol-
Fetalvero, which was at 1:18:45. But the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association, the national governing body for athletics, hasn’t made her record official yet.
“This is my second international half marathon for the year and it’s a good start to end the first half of the year with a big win here in Korea. I would like to thank 7-Eleven, Motorace-Kawasaki for their never-ending support,” Tabal added.
Tabal’s first international race this year was the Padova Marathon, held in Padua City, Italy last April 22. She finished third in the women’s 21-kilometer race.
Tabal, from Barangay Guba, Cebu City, said she still has a lot of things to improve on for her upcoming race in the Asian Games. She still has three months to work on those things.
Meanwhile, fellow Filipina Ruffa Sorongon, who is based in Cebu, claimed fourth spot while Cristabel Martes settled for fifth place in the 21k race.
Filipino Richard Solano placed second in the men’s 21k while Cebuano Prince Joey Lee landed at fifth place.
In the 42k race, Bryan Quiamco placed second while Richeel Languido placed third. Cebu-based Negrense marathoner Rafael Pescos placed fourth.
Judelyn Miranda dominated the 42k women’s race while Maricar Camacho wound up second place.
The Philippine representatives in the Jeju Marathon Festival earned their slots in the race for winning the 7-Eleven Run, which was simultaneously held in Cebu, Manila, and Davao last February.
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