Quitting national team wasn’t a bad decision – Mary Joy Tabal, queen of Philippines qualified for the Rio Olympics marathon and became the first ever women from the country to a grab a seat at Olympics marathon. Of course this wasn’t easy for the 26-year-old running champ from Cebu, Philippines. She wore a wide smile after a hard run of 2 hours 43 minutes and 29 second on Sunday’s Scotiabank Ottawa’a Marathon.
There are many other tags that came along for Tabal with this score, she is now the second Filipino trickster to reach the Olympics also become one who broke the national record set by Jhoann Banayag 2.44.2 in Southeast Asian games held in 2007. Not just that, she also broke her personal time of 2.48 that was set during 2013 to benchmark Rio Olympics knocked in August in Brazil.
1,455 females participated in the event and Tabal completed the run at eighth place and managed to remain at fifth in the 25 to 29 women’s division. She gained 39th rank of 4,184 marathoners. Sunday’s event was her second attempt for Olympic birth, the first one was in April at Boston Marathon in 2016 where she fell 4 minutes short of achieving win.
Last 200 meters out of 4-kilometer made Tabal emotional and she began to cry:
“I was asking the Lord if it was for real. I was just crying because of too much happiness and I couldn’t understand what I was feeling—emotionally and physically. I was shaking and I felt my whole body was numb. I felt like the world had stopped but I continued on to cross the finish line to really make it real,” Tabal told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday.
Last December she decided to quit the national team to get more trained getting help from Coach Philip Duenas in her hometown Guba. Now it would be interesting to see how she surpasses fan’s expectations in upcoming Olympic Marathons scheduled for August 14.