Pressure building up for Cebuana Olympian

By: Glendale G. Rosal July 27,2016 - 10:00 PM
Tabal (right) meets with Erick Wainaina, a Kenyan Marathon runner, who won an Olympic bronze medal in 1996 and a silver medal in 2000, during her training in Japan. (Mary Joy Tabal’s Facebook Page)

Tabal (right) meets with Erick Wainaina, a Kenyan Marathon runner, who won an Olympic bronze medal in 1996 and a silver medal in 2000, during her training in Japan. (Mary Joy Tabal’s Facebook Page)

Entering her final week of training in Japan, the country’s Marathon Queen Mary Joy Tabal admitted that the pressure she feels is starting to build up as the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, nears.

The 27-year-old Cebuana is the first Filipina to qualify for women’s marathon of the Olympics.

With the quadrennial event just eight days away, Tabal said she is excited but at the same time a bit nervous about the upcoming race.

“I’ve been talking to myself every now and then to have a clear mindset but I’m kind of worried and at the same time excited,” Tabal said. “I am worried because I don’t know what’s going to happen there during the competition. But what I can assure everyone is that I will give my best, my all and that’s going to be my mind-set from now on.”

In order to stay focused, Tabal, who hails from Barangay Guba, Cebu City, is taking a unique approach to address the issue. “I’ll think of it as the last and final race of my life so that I’ll be motivated to give my best,” she said.

Tabal, who is in her final stages of her month-long training under Japan’s respected veteran marathoner Akio Usami at the Nippon Sports Science University, qualified to the Games after clocking 2 hours, 43 minutes and 31 seconds in the Scotia Bank Ottawa Marathon in Canada last May.

“You have to push yourself harder. That’s what I learned here (in Japan). You have to trust yourself that you can finish and you can do it, and I am lucky that my teammates here always motivates (sic) me. And they always help and inspire me,” Tabal said.

Tabal’s training in Japan was backed by her corporate sponsor, Motorace Kawasaki Racing Team.

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TAGS: Cebu, Cebuana, Japan, marathon, Mary Joy Tabal, Olympic, run, runner, training

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