Patafa reinstates Tabal to national team, paves way for marathoner to compete in Rio Olympics
Mary Joy Tabal is all set for the Rio Olympics after Patafa granted her request for reinstatement to the national team. Photo from Tabal's Facebook account

THE Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) has formally reinstated Mary Joy Tabal to the national team, allowing the marathoner to see action in the Rio De Janeiro Olympics.

Patafa released a statement on Tuesday to formally announce Tabal’s reinstatement to the national team.

"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, wrote Patafa.

"However, we also recognize she qualified on her own So we put our differences aside, we reinstated her and we have allowed her to follow her training program despite our concerns. And we hope for the best in Rio for the nation," added the athletics association, which will now be endorsing Tabal as part of the Philippine athletics team in this year’s Olympics along with Eric Cray. 

Tabal resigned from the national team last year after seeing action in the Southeast Asian Games in Singapore. But prior to Tabal’s resignation, Patafa had reservations about the marathoner’s heavy running schedule by competing in several events which was backed by Motor Ace Racing-Kawasaki.

Tabal expressed elation to the decision of Patafa, expressing commitment to training before Rio.

“When I qualified, you could say that I could not fully celebrate because I wasn't sure that I will be reinstated. But now that I am, the happiness is unexplainable,” said Tabal in a statement.

“The Olympics is every athlete's dream. And it does not happen to everyone. I am happy and very nervous at the same time because I have the entire nation to think about. It is the biggest race of my career. The only thing I can do now is make sure that I give my everything in the Olympics,” she added.

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