Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) silver medalist Mary Joy Tabal dominated the women’s half marathon challenge of the 2016 Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon recently held in Victoria Park, Causeway Bay.
The 26-year old submitted one hour, 21 minutes and 41 second to pocket the $3,000 top prize in the event that drew more than 10,000 participants from different parts of the world.
Tabal defeated second-placer Taiwanese You Ya-jyun, who registered one hour, 22 minutes and 46 seconds and third-placer Japanese Ahiho Asada, who had one hour, 24 minutes and 27 seconds.
You got the $2,000 consolation purse while Asada claimed $1,000 prize.
Australian Jane Richards wound up fourth overall in 1:25.35 followed by Hong Kong’s Kong Lai Ming (1:26.05) and Tong Ka Yan (1:27.00), Wong Tsz Yan of China (1:27.10), Choy Mun Tse Mandy of Hong Kong (1:27.20), Oh Yann Kai of Malaysia (1:28.46) and Vut Tsz Ying of Hong Kong (1:28.54).
After a brief rest, Tabal will resume her training to prepare for the 2016 Boston Marathon – an Olympic qualifying event.
The Boston Marathon will be on April 18.
She needs to match or surpass the qualifying mark of 2:45:00 set by the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) to earn a spot in the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August.
So far, only Filipino-American hurdler Eric Shauwn Cray is assured of Olympic berth following his impressive campaign in the Cayman Invitational Athletics in May last year.
He checked in at 49.12 seconds in the men’s 400-meter hurdles to meet the Olympic qualifying mark of 49.40 seconds.
EMIL C. NOGUERA