MARY Joy Tabal once trained in Japan for her stint in the 2016 Rio Olympics, and for her next training abroad, she contacted coaches in Japan for some advice.

Former Olympian turned marathon coach Akio Usami and Sachio Hobara advised Tabal to pick Italy for her training over Kenya. Usami spearheaded Tabal’s training in Japan last year under the Nippon Sports Science University.

“Actually, we asked the opinion from my friends in Japan and the former coaches on which is good for me,” Tabal told SunStar Cebu yesterday. “(They said) the training in Italy is more scientific, and they suggested to start in Italy before going to Kenya.”

The training abroad, which will be sponsored by Tabal’s team Motor Ace Philippines, is in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and 2017 Southeast Asian (Sea) Games.

“In Italy, before you start with the training program there’s an overall examination for athletes before you proceed. The exam will determine the weakness and strengths of every athlete,” said the 27-year-old Olympian.

Tabal added that the results of the exam will be the basis of the training program and will help decide the suitable diet of an athlete.

“Everything that is related to the elite athletes will be tested, even the allergies of the athletes. The training camp in Italy is very scientific and it’s good for me before I go into intense training,” said the Cebuana marathoner.

The final decision and the other details of the training will be finalized when Tabal and her long-time coach John Philip Duenas will meet Motor Ace Philippines president Jonel Borromeo.

“Sir Jonel (Borromeo) also has all the details regarding (the training camps in) Kenya and Italy,” said Tabal.