PHILIPPINE Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner Ramon “El Presidente” Fernandez promised all-out support to Mary Joy Tabal if she will seek a slot in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

“All I can say is congratulations for the job well done, in spite of the (previous) conflict she went through with Patafa. Don’t mind the bashers. Instead make it as your inspiration to rise from this ordeal. Finishing the race, while others did not, despite the circumstances is the spirit of being a Filipino. She survived the hardship. It’s only fitting to thank her and congratulate her for finishing the race for us,” said Fernandez.

Now that PSC is implementing the Philippine Sports Institute project, which will give rise to the regional training centers for grassroots and elite athletes, Fernandez assured Tabal that she will be given her due.

“But I think running three marathons (Boston Marathon in April, Ottawa Marathon in May and the Olympics) in a span of five months was not a good idea. Probably, it was the reason she performed less than what she had expected. Still, we owe her our gratitude,” said Fernandez.

PSC Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez congratulated Tabal and expected her to come-back strong.

“That was the best we can have for a Filipino (marathoner). She finished the race while others did not. We must congratulate Joy and learn lessons (from her),” Ramirez said.

Cebu City Sports Commission Chairman Edward Hayco also lauded Joy.

“Just qualifying for the Olympics was already a historic feat for Joy and (her coach) Philip (Dueñas). We continue to support her dreams. You don’t win a medal on your first shot. You build on your challenges. Joy has planted the seed of what dreams are made of. That of believing in one’s self – (is) what grassroots programs are all about,” said Hayco.

Hayco believed that one of Tabal and Dueñas trained athletes from the mountain barangays of City – particularly from her place – Barangay Guba, could make it to the Olympics one day.