MARY Joy Tabal could not describe her feeling of happiness when she learned that her Olympic dream is close to becoming a reality.
The Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association finally reinstated her in the national team on Tuesday, paving the way for her stint in the women’s marathon event of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
The 26-year-old Tabal received her letter of reinstatement via email while she was at her dormitory in Jones Ave. Cebu City, with her elder sister Maria and brother Rolando erupting in celebration upon learning of the developments in Manila.
“God is good. The road to Rio is never easy. Ngayon excited ulit ako. Ito na ang pinamalaking event sa buhay ko,” said Tabal in an interview with The Standard.
Tabal was taking an afternoon break from training at the Cebu City Sports Complex oval when she got confirmation from an official letter signed by PATAFA president Philip Ella Juico.
“We are pleased to inform you that the PATAFA has decided to grant your request for reinstatement as a member of the Philippine national athletics’ team,” said Juico in his letter.
The news came a day after Tabal came to Manila with her sponsors, Motor Ace Philippines executives Jonel and Chippy Borromero, and gave Juico a letter seeking reinstatement.
“We have long wanted to protect Mary Joy and we have questioned her racing schedule and its effects on her ability to sustain steady improvements over time. However, we also recognize she did qualify on her own. So we put our differences aside, we reinstated her, and we have allowed her to follow her own training program, despite our concerns. And we hope for the best in Rio for the nation,” added Juico in a statement.
They will have confirmation on Tabal’s Olympic stint once the International Association of Athletics Federations comes out with a list of confirmed athletes on July 11.
Tabal placed eighth in the Scotia Bank Ottawa Marathon three weeks ago and passed the Olympic standard for the sport.
But she did not make the PH national team going to the Rio Olympics outright as she was not a part of the PATAFA national team, hence the request for reinstatement.