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Thursday, January 24, 2019

Olympians in Cebu

THREE-time Olympian and silver medalist in the 2016 Rio Olympics Hidilyn Diaz will visit Cebu to talk about her experience as an athlete and share some insights about weightlifting and sports in general, while Cebu’s hometown Olympian Mary Joy Tabal will arrive today following her valiant run in the Olympics.

Diaz will be joined by Olympian boxer Charley Suarez and Philippine Sports Commission head strength and conditioning coach Jay Futalan as speakers for the event dubbed as The Process of Building Olympians.

The event was first set on Aug. 28 but will be rescheduled as it is in conflict with the other commitments of the guest speakers.

“We’re still working on the new date because we have to check their schedules. By next week we will know the final date,” said organizer Pio Solon.

Solon said that the activity aims to make people understand the process of reaching the athletes’ goal. He added that the speakers will also talk about how they started with the sport and their journey towards the Olympics.

Solon said that part of what will be discussed is how to improve performance, the ways to get to the Olympics, and what can be done to improve the sports system in the country.

“Overall, this will be inspiring. We are also looking to get another speaker, preferably sport psychologists,” said Solon.

Tabal, on the other hand, arrives in Cebu tonight after a valiant run in the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil last Sunday.

Tabal of Motor-Ace Kawasaki Racing Team will be greeted with a simple gathering on Saturday inside the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. It will be open to all who want to meet the country’s top marathoner Tabal, who be arriving tonight together with her long-time coach John Philip Dueñas.

Motor Ace Philippines, the company that backed Tabal, is also planning to do a short motorcade and is now processing the permits.

Tabal, 27, is the first Olympian from Cebu after 20 years. She’s also the first Filipina marathoner to qualify for and finish the Olympics. The native of Barangay Guba, Cebu City was the 124th marathoner to cross the finish line with a time of 3 hours, 2 minutes and 27 seconds.

Tabal endured the scorching heat and cramps in Brazil last Sunday and was among the 133 finishers in the women’s marathon. There were 24 marathoners who did not finish (DNF) the race.

Tabal earned a ticket to the 2016 Summer Games at the ScotiaBank Ottawa Marathon in Canada last May, where she ran her personal best, 2:43:31.

Motor Ace Philippines has earlier said that they are willing to support Tabal if she wants to go for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
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