WHEN faced with the same setback as the one suffered by Mary Joy Tabal, some athletes will just have to deal with the fact that it was all that—a missed opportunity.
But when Mary Joy Tabal fell short of making it to the Olympics during her Boston Marathon stint, she cried rivers, brushed herself off and is now back on the drawing board as she and her team are now scouring for other races that could give her that elusive slot to the Rio Olympics
Motor Ace Philippines, the major backer of Cebu’s running pride, is throwing its full support to Tabal’s quest. The company is willing to shoulder all expenses that will be incurred in the quest to have a Filipino in the marathon competition in Rio.
Motor Ace Philippines president Jonel Borromeo disclosed to Sun.Star Cebu yesterday that they are planning to do that.
“Currently, we are verifying the slots in the qualifying races in Denmark and Canada,” said Borromeo.
Borromeo added they will know by next week if they manage to secure slots to the said races.
However, should they be able to register Tabal into the races, the next problem they would have to face will be the approval of the Visa.
“We are currently verifying the slots. But I think the race slots won’t be a problem because we can find a way around that. If there will be a problem, I think it would be on the Visa application because sometimes, the processing takes a long time,” Borromeo said.
Borromeo said that after Tabal’s race in Boston, he asked her of her plans.
“I contacted her (Tabal) and she said she’s going to continue. And if she’s in, then Motor Ace Philippines is in. We will support her with her plan. After that discussion, we started to search for qualifying races right away,” he said.
The race in Canada is the ScotiaBank Ottawa Marathon set on May 29, while they still do not have details on the Denmark race yet.
“I think there is a big chance to qualify because we checked the route in Canada and Denmark and it was more of a flat course. Boston had a lot of uphills,” he said.
The 26-year-old Tabal completed the 42-kilometer in Boston Marathon in 2 hours and 49 minutes, despite the pain of cramps from the 25K until the finish line.
“Assuming that things will go as planned and she (Tabal) can race either in Canada or Denmark, she will go back to Japan first to continue the training,” said Borromeo.
Tabal trained for two months in Japan under the Nippon Sports Science University (NSSU) sports program and former Olympian coach Akio Usami, before she went to Boston.
Borromeo said that they have already sent an e-mail to NSSU in Japan regarding Tabal’s training and they got a positive response.
Tabal got the Boston Marathon slot as prize for winning the 2015 National Milo Marathon Finals.
The Olympic qualifying time for the women’s marathon is at 2:45 and Tabal missed the cut by about three minutes. The qualifiers will make it to the Rio Olympics in August.
Meanwhile, the other athletes of Motor Ace Racing, Tenggoy Colmenares, Tolitz Dagoy Albina and Borromeo will be joining the Xterra Langkawi Malaysia 2016 on May 7 and 8.
The race, which is the final stage of Asia-Pacific Tour Championship, will feature a course with 1.5K swim, 30K mountain bike and 11K trail run.