Cebu Mayor Osmeña on Tabal’s troubles: Kaming bahala sa kababayan namin!
Looks like Cebu City Mayor Tommy Osmeña has taken it upon himself to support native marathon runner Mary Joy Tabal, who some say were kicked out of the Philippines’ Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) roster due to discrimination.
“If Manila won’t support our fellow Cebuana, Cebu City will,” Osmeña said on a Facebook post Thursday, June 8.
Tabal’s exclusion from the 2017 SEAG line up prepared by the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) has caused an outcry from local politikos, especially since it’s been known for years now that she’s the country’s best marathoner.
Apparently, Patafa’s issue with Tabal is her preference to train in Cebu with her longtime coach.
At any rate, Mayor Osmeña said that the Cebuana athlete is doing well despite the setback.
“I met Mary Joy a few days ago. She told me she doesn’t need much. She already has many sponsors outside the Philippines,” he said.
Tabal is the first Filipino marathon runner to qualify for the Olympics, which she did by running a time of 2:43:29 in the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon in 2016.
Tabal has also won a silver medal in the women’s marathon competition in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore, and won the women’s division title in the National Milo Marathon Finals for four straight years, from 2013 to 2016. #