MANILA, Philippines – RIO Olympic Games veteran and 2017 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Mary Joy Tabal is eyeing for her second gold medal in a row in the upcoming 30th SEA Games women’s marathon.
Tabal handed the Philippines its first gold medal in the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, where she finished with an impressive time of 2:48:26.
In the 2017 biennial meet that Malaysia hosted, Tabal’s time in games was seven minutes ahead of eventual silver medalist Vietnam’s Hoang Thi Thanh.
She was also nearly 10 minutes ahead of the 2015 Thailand’s gold medalist Natthaya Thanaronnawat.
The Cebu native will aim for no less than a gold medal in the 2019 regional meet.
The last three weeks of her preparation will be crucial for Tabal who’s under the guidance of John Philip Dueñas and Japanese coaches Yuhei Sato and Akio Usami. (Lloyd Tagbago/IAMIGO/CNS)