Mary Joy Tabal explains her silver finish in SEA Games marathon
NEW TARLAC CITY—Former marathon champion Mary Joy Tabal admitted she didn’t “run my race” when she finished behind eventual winner Christine Hallasgo in the Southeast Asian Games last Friday.
“I’m disappointed but there’s nothing I can do about it. I was not running my race. I was holding back. I was also not expecting the hot weather, ” said the 30-year-old Tabal after her silver medal finish at New Clark City Athletics Stadium.
Tabal, in fact, was all out of sorts at the finish. Not only did she collapse at the line, she also thought she finished fourth.
“I didn’t know that someone in front had collapsed,” she said.
That would be Indonesian Odekta Elvina Naibaho, who was leading the race before she collapsed about 400 meters from the finish. The Indonesian tried to get up but eventually did not finish.
Tabal admitted she had a few lapses of her own.
She started the race planning to take the first loop as a warm-up.
However, Tabal was surprised when her opponents just stayed behind her. It was Thailand who tried to break away first, but Tabal eventually reeled her in.
When she pondered on breaking away, Tabal was taken aback when Indonesia and Vietnam started to pull away at a very fast pace and it left her scrambling.
“I tried to run their pace. We were already done with 30k and I was thinking I could still do this because there’s 12 kilometers more to go,” said Tabal.
It was also then that she got distracted and because she was doing the chasing, she started feeling her hamstrings cramping.
“By then my morale was low already and I started thinking if I should stop or continue the race and I couldn’t get my pace,” said Tabal.
Tabal’s consolation, however, was that the gold still went to a Filipino.
“It is something to be grateful [for]. I am happy for Christine who bagged a gold in her first SEA Games. I am proud of her,” said Tabal.
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