Tabal on a mission

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

CEBU’S Mary Joy Tabal will take her running prowess to Pasig next week for a possible Philippine National team slot via an athletic event in the Philippine National Games (PNG) on May 22 at the Ultra Philsports Complex.

The country’s current fastest marathoner, will take yet another crack at a qualifying event for the 42K national team. Tabal, who is a seasoned PNG competitor, used to dominate the 5K event which she won last year. This year, however, she will debut on a longer distance, the 10K event.

“This event will serve as a qualifying for the national team in the 42K. Since PNG does not have 42K, they will take note of our time in the 10K,” Tabal told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday.


The 10K time will not be the lone basis that would get her to the national team. An athlete’s personal record in the 42K will also matter.

Tabal, who earlier said that she will join the Philippine AirForce team, has changed her mind and will banner Cebu City in the PNG.

“I will represent Cebu City, but I was not able to go with the other Cebu City athletes. Mogikan ko sa Cebu on May 21 since the run will be next Thursday,” said Tabal.

Cebu’s running pride will aim for one out of only two 42K national team slots, where she’s task to slug it out with formidable foes and dominant runners in former Milo Marathon queen and current 42K national team member Mary Grace de los Santos, and former national team member Cristabel Martes.

Tabal said she will try her best and hopes the intense training would pay off.

“Coach John Philip Dueñas adjusted my training and preparation for the PNG. We focus more on speed and power this time. Because the training we made for the 42K was different from a 10K training,” Tabal said.

The Cebuana made her country proud after finishing 17th overall in the Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris at the Champs-Elysees in Paris last April. After the international exposure, she topped all of three events she had joined: the 3K trail run in April at Canso X park, Balamban; 15K women’s division of the 7th Mayor’s Cup Run on May 4, and was hailed Team Relay champion in Dipolog Triathlon last Sunday.

Meanwhile, PNG still remains as a recruitment hub for national teams, where they search for possible athletes, who will be sent to the Southeast Asian Games.

Tabal eyes a target time to boost her chances in nailing one of the national squad slots.

“I think for us who aims to qualify in the 42K national team we need to clock 37 minutes in the 10K run. Because the time to beat for a 10K event is 36:30,” she said. (RSC)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 16, 2014.


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