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After winning Hong Kong marathon, Tabal targets 2016 Olympics

Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines – After ruling the 2016 Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon Sunday at Victoria Park in Hong Kong, Mary Joy Tabal is setting her sights on the 2016 Summer Olympics.

In a report by Matthew Scott of the South China Morning Post, Tabal said becoming the country’s first woman to make it to an Olympic marathon event is her ultimate goal.

“Hopefully, I can do good,” said the 26-year-old Cebuano runner. “I actually prefer the marathon and to represent the Philippines at the Olympics would be a dream come true for me. I am feeling strong but I just have to improve my endurance.”

Tabal clocked in at 1:21.41, followed by Taiwan’s You Ya-jyun (1:22.46) and Shiho Asada of Japan (1:24.27) to win Sunday’s race – topping her second place finish last year.

She recalled struggling at the start of the race because of the weather conditions.

“I started behind the elite runners but knew in these wet conditions I had to get to them quickly. Once I did, I just thought to myself ‘run as fast as you can’,” Tabal continued.

“At the start it was so challenging because I was so cold,” she said. “But I had a good pace from start to finish and once I got to the lead – even though I was feeling so cold – that was it. I overcame that – I’m just not used to the cold and the rain – and I won. I just told myself to relax and to get to the lead,” she added.

Tabal will aim to make the Olympic qualifying time when she competes in the Boston Marathon this April.

ACIRC BOSTON MARATHON BUT I HONG KONG MARY JOY TABAL MATTHEW SCOTT OF THE SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST ONCE I SHIHO ASADA OF JAPAN STANDARD CHARTERED HONG KONG MARATHON SUNDAY SUMMER OLYMPICS TABAL
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