Tabal targets back-to-back SEAG golds, Tokyo Olympics
Glorietta Lariosa (The Freeman) - February 8, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Cebuana Olympian Mary Joy Tabal wants nothing but gold in women’s marathon over of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games to be hosted by the Philippines on November 30 to December 11.


“Honestly, I feel the pressure, not only because I am the defending gold medalist but also because we are the host,” said Tabal, who produced gold for the country during the 2017 SEAG in Indonesia. “I want to take advantage of the fact that we are the host that is why I am training hard for it.”

As for her preparations, the 29-year-old Tabal is set to embark on a training camp abroad not only for the SEA Games but also for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics qualifying race.

“I have a series of training camps lined up. I am going back to Japan to train in the coming months. I am also running in the Ottawa Marathon, my goal is to break my half marathon record,” added Tabal. “I got big plans for this year and my ultimate goal is to compete in the (Tokyo) Olympics.”

The Ottawa Marathon in Canada is set on May 26. Interestingly, it is the same event where Tabal passed the Olympic qualifying time for the Rio Games in 2016.

Tabal’s training abroad is set from March to May. The first phase of her training will be dedicated to her Olympics campaign, while the second phase which will begin in August for her SEA Games stint.

Tabal also expressed her positive outlook for the country’s SEA Games performance this year.

“I am positive of our chances to improve our standings in SEA Games and I will do my part to contribute,” said the pride of Barangay Guba, Cebu City.


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