KUALA LUMPUR — Mary Joy Tabal will be staying for a few more days to cheer on other members of the Philippine team in the Southeast Asian Games.
Tabal won the women’s marathon gold medal on Saturday and was supposed to leave on Sunday under policies by the Philippine Sports Commission that an athlete must leave a day after the competition.
But her stay was extended by Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association president Philip Ella Juico to until Aug. 24 as part of her reward for winning her event, the first gold for the country in the 11-nation meet.
Jeson Agravante, who failed to finish the marathon, will also be staying, according to Juico.
"I talked to Joy and asked if she wants to stay so that you could be with the team and be part of the community. We extended her stay," said Juico.
Tabal won the gold medal following a controversial buildup to the SEA Games, getting dropped from the pool of athletes for violation of Patafa regulations before being reinstated.