OFF TO RIO
Cebuana Olympian Joy Tabal wraps up Japan training, heads to Brazil
The Philippines’ lone bet in women’s marathon in this year’s Olympics, Cebuana Mary Joy Tabal, will be leaving for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil today after a grueling month-long training in Japan.
The 27-year old from Barangay Guba, Cebu City will then have barely two weeks to acclimatize and condition her body in Rio de Janiero as the women’s marathon is set to be held on Aug. 14.
Before her flight to Rio de Janeiro, Cebu Daily News managed to catch up with Tabal online, where she reiterated that — despite the pressure and excitement she feels — she will give her all for the country.
“I think all first timers will feel the same way as what I am feeling right now. It’s the Olympics! Of course you will feel nervous because you are bringing your country’s colors to the whole world,” Tabal said.
Although being an Olympian is already a dream come true for Tabal, she said she is not stopping there. She promised to give every inch of her strength to come up with a convincing finish against some of the world’s fastest marathoners.
“I already told myself that it’s impossible to win the gold medal considering the presence of the world’s fastest and world’s best marathoners but I always keep in my mind and my heart that anything is possible. If I can’t win the medal in this race, maybe in the next Olympics but I don’t come here to Rio for nothing,” said Tabal. “I didn’t train hard and sacrifice a lot of things for nothing. I will give them a good fight.”
One of her motivation is to surpass her current personal record of 2:43.29, which she got when she raced in the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon last May 29 (May 30, Philippine time), which was an Olympic qualifier. In that race, she beat the 2:45:00 qualifying mark.
Meanwhile, Tabal shared the two most valuable things she learned from her trainers in Japan. First is the importance of having a positive mindset and second is the ability to conquer her fears in any given situation.
Tabal also took the chance to thank her corporate backer, Motorace Philippines, headed by its president Jonel Borromeo, for supporting her and helping her achieve her dreams. She also thanked Milo, Asics, her teammates in Cebu, the Garcia Group of Companies (GGC), Citigym, JPD Coaching, PATAFA, her trainers and teammates at the Nippon Sports Science University in Japan.
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