WITH the goal of returning to the world’s biggest sporting stage—the Olympics--Cebu’s running pride Mary Joy Tabal focused in her latest training stint in Japan that kicked off a few days ago.
Tabal’s camp will attempt to get the Olympic qualifying time at the ScotianBank Ottawa Marathon 2019 on May 26 in Canada. It’s the same race where she beat the qualifying time for 2016 Rio Olympics.
“This is the first period of my training dedicated for the Olympic qualifying race. I will be here in Japan until May,” the 29-year-old Tabal told SunStar Cebu in an online interview.
Tabal of Motor Ace Kawasaki Racing Team joined a familiar camp in Japan spearheaded by Japanese trainer Akio Usami, who led her preparation in her biggest races like the Southeast Asian (Sea) Games, Olympics and Milo Marathon.
“I’m currently on my fourth day here. The training will be until May 22,” said Tabal, who clocked 2 hours, 43 minutes and 29 seconds to beat the Rio Olympic women’s marathon qualifying time of 2:45.
The qualifying time for the marathon in Tokyo Olympics, however, has yet to be released. The quadrennial Summer Games will be held in Japan on July 24 to Aug. 9 next year.
After the qualifying race, Tabal is set to shift focus on defending her title in the 30th Sea Games set on Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 in the Philippines. Tabal plans to compete in both the marathon and half-marathon.
“I will return to Japan for my second set of training. It will be focused on my stint in the 30th Sea Games,” she said. (RSC)