THE camp of Cebuana marathoner Mary Joy Tabal has flashed the green light for her to join the Olympic-qualifying race in the Ottawa Marathon, City of Ottawa, Canada on May 26.
Tabal told SunStar Cebu on Friday, April 5 in an online chat that her participation in Ottawa Marathon is good to go with the collaboration of her major backer Motor Ace Philippines and Milo Philippines.
“My incentive from being this year’s Milo Marathon Queen will be diverted for my Ottawa trip. Milo has given a certain amount; the rest of the expenses will be shouldered by my team, Motor Ace Philippines,” said the 29-year-old Tabal.
Tabal won her sixth straight Milo Marathon national finals title last year in Laoag City.
“The winner of Milo Marathon is supposedly, to be sent in one of the races in Asia but Milo has supported me with my goal to qualify to the Olympics,” said Tabal.
Tabal, the owner of the current women’s national record for the marathon at 2 hours, 43 minutes and 31 seconds set in Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon, is currently in the fourth week of training at the Nippon Sports Science University in Japan under trainer Aiko Usami. Tabal will get a free race slot being under the Class B elite list of Ottawa Marathon. She said organizers are happy to have her back in the race.
The Ottawa Marathon was the same race where Tabal qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics. She hopes to carve the same route again for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The previous marathon qualifying time was 2:45 but the Tokyo Olympics qualifying time has not been announced.
“My goal for this year is to set another record (in Ottawa Marathon) and also to defend my gold medal in the SEA (Southeast Asian) Games,” said Tabal.
After the race in Canada, Tabal plans a quick stay in Cebu before leaving again for Japan. (RSC)