Can Tabal rise over her troubles? | Inquirer Sports
In Huddle

Can Tabal rise over her troubles?

/ 01:39 AM June 22, 2017

Mary Joy Tabal. FILE Photo

It’s a good thing the misunderstanding between Olympian Mary Joy Tabal and the Patafa was finally settled after she promised to abide by the conditions laid down by association chief Philip Ella Juico.

And now, the 2016 Rio Olympics veteran will finally represent the country in the women’s marathon in the 20th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur this year.


What Tabal had been through reminds me of former Asia’s sprint queen Lydia de Vega’s saga in 1982 New Delhi Asian Games.


She also had run-ins with then Gintong Alay director Michael Keon, who dropped her father Francisco “Tatang” De Vega from Patafa’s coaching staff.

Lydia, nicknamed Diay, resented this and decided not to run in the New Delhi Asiad. She was entered in the 100m and 200m, where she had strong chances of winning the rare sprint double gold medals.

A few days before the 100m competition, Diay and Tatang were reportedly summoned to Malacañang by then First Lady Imelda Marcos, who saw her previous exploits in the international competitions before the New Delhi meet.

On the day of her run in the centerpiece event, as the entire nation was glued to the government television covering the games, Diay took off from the starting block like a gazelle to win the 100m dash with a time of 11.76 seconds, beating in the process top favorite PT Usha in front of a hostile home crowd.

The newly crowned sprint champ did not run in the 200m due to the recurrence of her old injury but her 100m gold was enough to make the entire country celebrate. The other gold medal the Philippines won in the games was in swimming courtesy of Billy Wilson.

Diay, whose best time was 11.28, validated her domination of Usha in the sprint event in the 1986 Seoul Asiad with a clocking of 11.53 seconds.


The Kuala Lumpur SEA Games will be held in August and although Tabal cannot be compared to Lydia, it is interesting to see and watch whether the 27–year-old marathoner who carries a personal best of 2:43:31, would win the gold in women’s marathon.

Based on the previous winning time in the biennial meet, if Tabal matches her best or at least comes a few seconds to it, she has a strong chance of winning the gold in Kuala Lumpur.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

She’s a silver medalist in the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore.

TAGS: Mary Joy Tabal, Patafa, Philip Ella Juico, women's marathon

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.