CAPAS, Tarlac—Mary Joy Tabal may have lost the race on Friday, but she is proud nonetheless that the Southeast Asian Games women’s marathon title remained in the Philippines.
Christine Hallasgo took the crown from defending champion Tabal, who struggled with exhaustion at the New Clark City grounds here, where the marathon took place.
Tabal settled for silver, two years after winning the gold in the Kuala Lumpur edition of the Games.
"I’m happy for Christine because she won in her first SEA Games appearance," Tabal said after she emerged from the medical area following first aid treatment.
"And I’m happy and proud we made it second. Everyone gave their best, I’m so proud of all the girls."
Upon reaching the finish line, Tabal fell to her knees before lying on the track. Paramedics immediately came in and carried her out of the track on a stretcher.
"I was exhausted. I was cramping all over," said the Boston Marathon veteran and many-time Milo marathon champion.
Tabal felt that the result could have been different if the race started a bit earlier.
The girls started running at 6:15 in the morning. But after 2 hours of running, road conditions started to become hotter under the sun.
"I think it will be more competitive siguro kung we started earlier. Everyone was exhausted. But then it’s part of the race, everyone was giving all out all their best," said Tabal.
"I thought I was running fourth I just want to finish the race safe, unknowingly nag-second pa pala ako. So I’m happy I made it.”
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