By: Glendale G. Rosal August 20,2018 - 10:48 PM

Cebuano Olympian Mary Joy Tabal (2nd from right) poses with Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña during her send-off to the Asian Games. Also in the photo are Motor Ace Kawasaki Racing Team president Jonel Borromeo (extreme right) and coach John Philip Dueñas (extreme left). Glendale G. Rosal

Mayor Osmeña tells Asian Games-bound Tabal: Just run

One of Mary Joy Tabal’s biggest supporter in her upcoming Asian Games stint is Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña.

During her send-+off press conference yesterday at the new headquarters of MotorAce along Gorordo Avenue, Osmeña was present to express his full support for the celebrated Cebuana marathoner who is set to compete in the quadrennial meet on Sunday.

“Don’t think about winning or losing. Just run,” the mayor said. “Don’t think of anything [else].”

Osmeña has been a believer of Tabal’s talent, never failing to fete the runner from Barangay Guba every time she wins big races abroad.

In 2017, after Tabal won a gold in the Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) in Malaysia, the Cebu City government gave Tabal a P100,000 reward and an additional P500,000 aid for her training for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“I just want to let her know that all of Cebu will be behind you,” Osmeña added. “It is a wonderful opportunity for us in the city to support Tabal.”

The 29-year-old Tabal, meanwhile, said that realistically, winning a medal or landing at the top three of the women’s marathon is a tough climb.

But she has other goals she wants to achieve in her stint.

One is to clock in at least two hours and 40 minutes or less. If she does, this would give her the confidence needed going into next year’s Olympic qualifying race in Japan.

The Olympic qualifying time for women’s marathon is 2:45.

“If I get that time in the Asian Games, it will be easier for us to get a better time for next year,” she said.

It will also mean she would have a bigger chance of winning another gold medal in the SEAG which the Philippines is hosting next year.

Her other goal is to beat her personal record of 2:43.31 which she clocked during the Ottawa Marathon in Canada last year.

“It’s my first Asian Games. I am hoping that I can raise our country’s flag in this big sporting stage,” Tabal said.

Tabal will leave for Indonesia on Thursday and join the rest of the 272-strong Philippine team in the quadrennial meet that will run until September 2.

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TAGS: advice, Asian, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, games, Mary Joy Tabal, Mayor Osmeña, Tabal, tells, Tom’s

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