Tabal returns home, offers gold to Cebuanos
CEBUANA marathoner Mary Joy Tabal was back in Cebu Friday after winning the gold medal in the 29th Southeast Asian (Sea) Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last Aug. 19
“I’m very thankful and happy for all your support, especially the Cebuanos. Your support is a big help for me to get this gold medal,” Tabal said during the welcome party at Ssangyong showroom on Gorordo Ave., Cebu City last Friday night.
Gracing the welcome party were the likes of Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner Ramon Fernandez, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, Cebu City Councilor Jerry Guardo, Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC) Chairman Edward Hayco and Motor Ace President Jonel Borromeo.
Borromeo, whose company, Motor Ace Philippines, bankrolled Tabal’s training abroad, said he had no doubt that Tabal can win the gold because of the latter’s hard work and dedication.
“I can say that all the training and perseverance from you paid off. I had no doubt that the gold is for you. It is well worth it because of all the hardship you had gone through,” he said.
Borromeo said that they will keep on supporting Tabal and has pledged to be there until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“The company is going to continue the support for Joy, and the program will be going until the 2020 Olympics. We have the 2018 Asian Games next and the 2020 Olympics. We will keep on moving forward and supporting her,” said Borromeo.
The Philippines Sports Commission (PSC) is also throwing its support behind the Barangay Guba native Tabal.
“We are indeed very lucky because we have Motor Ace Kawasaki, who took care of the athlete (Tabal). My hats off to Jonel Borromeo and coach John Philip Dueñas, you are behind the success of Tabal,” said PSC Commissioner and PBA legend Ramon Fernandez.
“The PSC will support Tabal all the way until she retires,” said Fernandez.
Mayor Tomas Osmeña calls Tabal a model who is worthy of emulation by the Cebuano youth. The City Government of Cebu will give the 28-year-old long distance runner P500,000 cash incentives.
“She’s a model for the youth. The City Government will set aside P500,000 cash for her. Hopefully, this will encourage other people also to try to excel,” said Osmeña. “On behalf of the City Government of Cebu, we want to congratulate and thank joy for being a true model.”
Guardo, the deputy mayor for sports, has authored the resolution that will grant Tabal P500,000 cash as a refund for her expenses on her 29th Sea Games training.
Tabal gave the country the first gold medal in the 29th Sea Games after winning the women’s marathon event in 2 hours, 48 minutes 26 seconds, beating Vietnam’s Hoang Thi Thanh (2:55:43) and the 2015 Sea Games gold medalist Natthaya Thanaronnawat (2:58:17) of Thailand.
Tabal improved her silver medal finish on her debut in the 2015 Singapore Sea Games.
Tabal’s next big race is the 2018 Asian Games, which will be held in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia, which is calendared on Aug. 18 to Sept. 2. (RSC)