Can marathon’s golden maiden bag maiden gold?
KUALA LUMPUR—As marathon ushers in the medal-rich track and field competitions on Saturday, focus will be on how Mary Joy Tabal would fare against the best in the field.
And as she seeks to give the country its first gold, inevitably, the spotlight will also shine on the controversies that have hounded her career.
Tabal has been the country’s golden girl in marathon, winning racess in international and local events, but her name has also been so often attached to controversy
The 28-year-old Tabal, of Guba, Cebu City, has been at odds with national governing body of her sport, the Philippine Track and Field Association, for the good part of the last two years.
When she bagged silver in the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore, she immediately resigned from the national team over her camp’s alleged disagreement with sponsorship deals.
But after a lengthy exchanges all over the media, she was reinstated later on to compete—and finish 124th—in the Rio Olympics in 2016.
During the selection for this SEA Games, she was required by Patafa to be under one of its sanctioned coaches, which also didn’t sit well with Tabal, who was training abroad under her own set of mentors.
Patafa again took her in to compete in the Games and hopefully give a golden start to the athletics team which garnered five golds, seven silvers and nine bronzes.
Competing alongside Tabal is teammate Jeson Oyco Agravante.
News and features about 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from August 19-30. Visit http://inq.news/seagames.
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