Cebu, we have an Olympian!
The Philippine Amateur Athletic Association (PATAFA) formally reinstated Mary Joy Tabal into the Philippine track and field team and yes, she is going to Rio!
After all the sweat and tears, after the struggle to make the qualifying time to the Olympics and to earn her spot back into the national team, Joy, the dreamer from Barangay Guba, is heading to the Olympics.
In an e-mail, sent to Motor Ace Racing-Kawasaki team head and Motor Ace Phils. President Jonel Borromeo, Joy’s major backer, PATAFA said that they are reinstating her into the team.
“We have long wanted to protect Mary Joy and we have we have questioned her racing schedule and its effects on her ability to sustain steady improvements over time. However, we also recognize she qualified on her own. So we put our differences aside, we reinstated her and we have allowed her to follow her training program despite our concerns. And we hope for the best in Rio for the nation,” the statement said.
Tabal resigned from the RP team shortly after winning a silver medal in the SEA Games last year because of differences in opinions about the training. Early this year, she teamed up with Motor Ace Racing-Kawasaki and together they set out on the goal to qualify for the Olympics. She went on a heavy training in Japan but she faltered in her first attempt in Boston but made up for it in the Scotia bank Ottawa Marathon last month.
It, however, did not automatically meant she earned the slot as she had to ask PATAFA, the national governing body for athletics that she be reinstated into the RP team. After sending in her request and a meeting, including a doping test, PATAFA finally said yes.
The statement also said that despite their reservations about her training, they feel it is to her best interest that she follows the training program that has been mapped out for her by her battery of coaches led by Coach Philip Duenas and her coaches in Japan.
For the Olympics, Joy will be accompanied by national coaches who are under Patafa but Motor Ace-Kawasaki can bring their own coach in Rio at their own expense.
Joy, upon hearing the news, had to ask herself over and over if this is really it? “When I qualified, you could say that I could not fully celebrate because I wasn’t sure that I will be reinstated. But now that I am, the happiness is unexplainable,” Tabal said, who heard the news as she was about to start her daily training regimen with coach Dueñas.