Tabal finishes 20th in Boston Marathon
(The Philippine Star) - April 19, 2016 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Mary Joy Tabal turned in a 20th place finish while Rafael Poliquit Jr. ended up at 277th in the huge male field in the Boston Marathon dominated by the Ethiopians in Massachusetts last Monday.

Tabal posted a time of 2:49:01 in the 120th staging of the annual premier timed in 20th in her female age group and 21st in the overall elite female category while ending up 34th in the overall elite male and female category of the event which drew over 32,000 runners from all over the globe.

Poliquit, on the other hand, clocked 2:47:16 to place 277th in his male age group, 323rd in the overall elite male group and 340th in the overall elite male and female category.

The Filipino bets, who earned the all-expense paid trips to the world’s oldest marathon for winning the 39th National Milo Marathon late last year, actually failed to hit target times but achieved a feat just the same by finishing the race.

Tabal, the 26-year-old SEA Games silver medalist from Cebu, had a good start and kept her pace but suffered cramps at the 25km mark. However, she still pushed on and faced uphill after uphill in the route.

“To be honest, I am really disappointed with my performance because I could have done so much better. I felt that I prepared myself well, and I was very positive, but I started feeling cramps in my quads after the first half. The pain was getting worse that I was about to stop, even the marshalls wanted me to stop,” said Tabal.

Despite failing to qualify for the Olympics, Tabal said she will keep on chasing her dream by competing in another race.

Meanwhile, Lemi Berhanu Hayle took the men’s crown in a dramatic late surge against defending champ and fellow Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa, covering the notoriously hilly course in two hours, 12 minutes and 45 seconds, as thousands of spectators cheered him.

Ethiopian men have won the Boston marathon six times since 1989, but have never before taken all three spots on the podium. No country has swept the top three spots in the Boston Marathon since Kenya did it in both the men’s and women’s divisions in 2012, according to marathon officials.

On the women’s side, Ethiopian Atsede Baysa won in 2:29:19, overcoming a 37-second deficit in the last five miles (8 km) of the race against training mate Tirfi Tsegaye.

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