THE camp of Cebu’s decorated marathoner Mary Joy Tabal will go back to the drawing board when she returns to the country after her stint in the ScotiaBank Ottawa Marathon on May 26, 2019 in Canada.
“I think she needs to double time on her training,” Tabal’s long-time coach John Philip Dueñas told SunStar Cebu in Cebuano on Friday. “We are a bit stagnant on time.”
The ace runner of MotorAce Kawasaki Racing Team Tabal , finished the 42-kilometer race of the Ottawa Marathon in 2 hours, 49 minutes and 57 seconds, good for 14th place in the women’s division.
Tabal failed to clinch the Tokyo Olympic qualifying time of 2:29. The Olympic standard time is much harder this time since it was changed from 2:45 to 2:29.
Dueñas said he will meet with Tabal on Monday to discuss the plans regarding the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games and a possible second shot at an Olympic-qualifying race.
“We have targeted a 2:40 time in the Ottawa Marathon, but we got 2:49,” said Dueñas, adding that they will focus to improve the time in the next competition.
In 2016, Tabal clocked 2:43 in the Ottawa Marathon and clinched a slot in the Rio Olympics.
Tabal’s next focus now is to defend her title in the 2019 SEA Games, which will be hosted by the Philippines on Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.
“We have a plan to let her join another Olympic qualifying race. But the next focus right now is the Sea Games. We’re still going to decide which Olympic qualifying race we should join,” he said.
According to Dueñas there are several ways to qualify for the Olympics: making the qualifying time cut-off, finish in the Top 10 of a major world marathon or finish in the top five in a Gold Label marathon.
Tabal trained in Japan for the Ottawa Marathon and is likely to go back there for another set of training for the SEA Games. (RSC)