Chasing Rio

AFTER a two-week training stint in Japan, Cebuana marathoner Mary Joy Tabal will travel to Ottawa, Canada today for the ScotiaBank Ottawa Marathon, an Olympic qualifying race.

The ScotiaBank Ottawa Marathon on May 29 is the second Olympic-qualifying race for Tabal in two months. The 26-year-old Tabal, a silver medalist in the 28th Southeast Asian (Sea) Games, joined the 2016 Boston Marathon last April but was four minutes short of the 2 hours and 45 minutes Olympic-qualifying time for women’s marathon.

Tabal has been focused on her training in Japan as she hopes to make that Olympic dream a reality.

“I just want to nail this (Olympic ticket). It has been my dream to reach the Olympics and this (Canada event) is probably my last shot for Rio so I need to do this,” Tabal earlier said.

Tabal trained in Japan for two months under the Nippon Sports Science University (NSSU) prior the 2016 Boston Marathon. The recent two-week training is a continuation of what she started in February this year under the guidance of former Olympian turned coach Akio Usami.

Tabal of Motor Ace Racing will be in Canada three days before the race for her to acclimatize to the weather in Canada and for her last phase of conditioning.

“I owe it to Motor Ace, which does not think twice in providing me with what I need. And I also owe it to everyone, especially Cebuanos, who have been rooting for me,” she said.

The Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon will start at 7 p.m. (PHL Time). As one of only two IAAF Gold Label Marathon events in Canada, the race will have 7,000 marathoners, including some of the world’s elite.

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