The Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) announced on Tuesday that it has reinstated top marathoner Mary Joy Tabal as a member of the Philippine national Athletics team.
“We have long wanted to protect Mary Joy and we have questioned her racing schedule and its effects on her ability to sustain steady improvements over time. However, we also recognize she did qualify on her own. So we put our differences aside, we reinstated her, and we have allowed her to follow her own training program, despite our concerns. And we hope for the best in Rio for the nation,” the PATAFA said in a statement.
Tabal, with her sponsors met with PATAFA President Philip Ella Juico on Monday.
“Notwithstanding our reservations about Mary Joy’s athletic activities and decisions, we strongly feel that it is to her best interest to follow the regimen and program she and her personal coaches have since adopted when they started aiming for the Olympic qualifying standard all the way to the competition day at the Olympics,” said Juico.
National coach Rene Herrera will be Tabal’s official coach in Rio but PATAFA has given her the liberty to bring along her personal coaches at their own expense.
“Representation for technical and ministerial concerns, through the designated national coach who will accompany her, prior to and during competition will be the only instance where PATAFA commits to involve itself in her Rio Olympics participation,” Juico said.
Tabal met the Olympic qualifying standard time of 2:45:00 when she registered 2:43.31 in the 2016 ScotiaBank Ottawa Marathon in Canada last month.
JEAN RUSSEL V. DAVID