Tabal may race in two categories in the Southeast Asian Games

By: Mars G. Alison January 25,2019 - 10:37 AM

Tabal /CDN file

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebuano marathon Olympian and Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold medalist Mary Joy Tabal could be aiming for two gold medals in the upcoming 30th SEA Games, which the country will be hosting this November.

Aside from defending her gold medal in the marathon, she might also be running in the 10-kilometer distance category of the biennial meet.

There were reports earlier that there might be a half marathon or the 21k in the upcoming SEA Games and Tabal will be competing in it.

However, John Philip Dueñas, Tabal’s long time coach, said that the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (PATAFA) has confirmed to him that there will be no 21k category. But he said there might be a 10k race since four other countries have requested for it.

The 29-year-old Tabal said she has no problem competing in another distance in the SEA Games because she trusts her coach.

“Salig man tas coach. Okay rajud basta una ang half, [and] naa mga 4-6 days gap before marathon,” said Tabal.

(We trust the coach. It is okay as long as the half will be done first then there will be 4-6 days gap before the marathon.)

Dueñas, however, said that everything is tentative yet because they also have to wait for the release of the qualifying time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Aside from working on retaining her crown as the Southeast Asian marathon queen, Tabal will also be aiming to qualify this year for the second time in the Olympics.    

In the absence of the qualifying time, Dueñas said they are basing their training program on the qualifying time for the World Championships, which is two hours and 37 minutes (2:37).

Tabal’s best time is 2:43, which she got in Canada when she qualified for the Rio Olympics. Her best time in the 21k is 1:16.

Dueñas said that he has cancelled their plans of Tabal running in the Tokyo Marathon on the first week of March. Instead, she will be joining the National Open from March 6 to 8 in Isabela as per request of the PATAFA.

They are also still waiting for Milo’s decision on where she will be racing as part of her winning her 6th straight National Milo Marathon last December in Laoag, Ilocos Norte. /bjo

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TAGS: Cebu City, Guba, Marathon Queen, Mary Joy Tabal, Olympian, Southeast Asian Games

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