MANILA, Philippines – Mary Joy Tabal did not accomplish her goal of beating her personal best time of 2:43:31 after she timed 3:02:27 in women’s marathon at the 2016 Sumer Olympics on Sunday, August 14 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The 27-year-old Cebu native, who admitted to Rappler she felt nervous before her race, had a realistic target coming in and finished at 124th place in a field of 157 competitors. Only 133 marathoners finished the race.
Jemima Sumgong won Kenya’s first ever gold in women’s marathon with a time of 2:24:04, pulling away in the final stretch of the race.
Bahrain’s Eunice Kirwa was a close second with a time of 2:24:13 for the silver and Ethiopia’s Mare Dibaba secured the bronze, lagging behind towards the end with a time of 2:24:30.
The Olympic record remained at 2:23:07, set by Ethiopian gold medalist Tiki Gelana in the 2012 London Olympics.
Coming in last is Cambodia’s Nary Ly, clocking in 3:20:20. She was seen proudly carrying her country’s flag at the finish line.
Tabal, the first Filipina marathoner to qualify for the Olympics, started the 42.195 km-race at rank 118 before toppling 6 places down to 124th by the 10 km-mark and then another 6 places down to 130th 5 km later.
She rose up to 126th at the halfway mark and then to 121th past 30 km, slowing down to 125th then 124th in the final two kilometers.
Filipinos who are still competing in the Games are golfer Miguel Tabuena, hurdler Eric Cray, long jumper Marestella Torres-Sunang, and taekwondo jin Kirstie Elaine Alora.
Eight other Filipino athletes have already wrapped up their 2016 Olympics stint with weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz bringing home the silver medal in the women’s 53 kg class to snap the country’s 20-year medal drought. – Rappler.com
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