The Philippines just won its first gold medal at the 2017 Southeast Asian Games, all thanks to marathoner Mary Joy Tabal.
Mary Joy’s time was not immediately available but it appeared that she was minutes ahead of the competition. She competed on the morning of the official opening of the 2017 SEA Games, Saturday, August 19.
Watch the video below of Mary Joy winning posted by Dyan Castillejo on Twitter.
— DYAN CASTILLEJO (@DYANCASTILLEJO) August 19, 2017
Apparently, the road to the 2017 SEA Games for Mary Joy was not that smooth. She had to fight her way just to be part of the Philippine delegation.
There was a time when she was excluded from the SEA Games roster because the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) officials pointed out about her not training in Manila or Baguio with an approved national team coach. Mary Joy trained in Italy with a side camp in Switzerland.
She was able to join back the roster when she agreed to bring Rene Herrera as her official coach. This is in addition to her long-time coach John Philip Dueñas.
At present, the Philippines now has four SEA Games medals – a silver for sepak takraw and two bronzes for archery.
Amazing! Congratulations team! 🙂