Mary Joy Tabal, 27. Took her fourth win in a row at the prestigious Milo Marathon in Iloilo. Tabal took the win in a time of 2h47.49. In the process Tabal broke her Milo Marathon Record of 2h48.
It was outside her National Record of 2h43.31 set at the Scotia Bank, in Ottawa last year which qualified her with the help of her sponsor Motorace to the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Tabal win took her to 4 wins, only Arsenia Sagaray and Christabel Martes with 5 each have ever exceeded that. If Tabal defends her title next year she will shine among the two former SEA Games Champions. At 27 years of age Tabal could theoretically get 6 and become the greatest Marathoner in the History of Philippine Women’s Marathon.
Martes was a distant second place in 3.10.11 in silver. and Lizane Abella was bronze in 3.14.27.
Former 3x Milo Champion and member of national team Mary Grace Delos Santos, 29 was not able to finish the race. Delos Santos did finish second in 2015 Finals with a time of 3.02.21 below the SEA Games silver medal standard. Which must be up for consideration for the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.
Tabal will compete in the SEA Games next year as she has qualified with her 2.43.41 Philippine National record and olympic qualifying time. Her main opponent will be Jane Vongvorotchi, 32 Thailand’s American based olympic marathoner who has ran 2.42.09 this year and has a PB of 2.40.40 from 2014.
Last SEA Games Vongvorotchi got cramps which caused her to DNF in the Women’s SEA Games Marathon in Singapore 2015, which she was highly favored to win. She did however come back a few days later and claim bronze in the Women’s 10,000m wearing rubber shoes. Vongvorotchi placed 91st in the Rio Olympic Marathon while Tabal placed 122nd.
It was a slow 2015 SEA Games won in 3.03.25 by Natthaya Thanaronnawat of Thailand, with Tabal taking second in 3.04.39 and bronze going to Hoang Thi Thanh of Vietnam in 3.07.14.
On the Men’s side Jesson Agravante took his first national title in the Mens Marathon winning in a time of 2.35.13, second was another unknown Maclin Sadia 2.35.22 in a sprint finish. And bronze was former national athlete Julius Sermona, 38 in 2.37.01. National record holder and 4x SEA Games champion Eduardo Buenavista was fifth.
While two time defending champion Rafael Poliquit was not able to finish the race. The slow time of 2.37.10 which was bronze at last SEA Games puts Agravante and Sadia at the bronze standard.
This was faster than the 2.36.10 of Poliquit in 2015 Milo Marathon Finals.
But this trails well behind SEA Games Champion Soh Rui Yong who has already ran 2h24 this year. In 2015 SEA Games it was the first time since the Philippines joined SEA Games that the men had failed to make the podium.