Tabal out to defend SEA Games crown

    OLYMPIAN Mary Joy Tabal, the reigning Southeast Asian Games champion, has ramped up her preparations for the 30th Southeast Asian Games with the help of three coaches.

    Aside from her personal coach John Duenas, Tabal is also being coached by Japanese mentors Yuhei Sato and Akio Usami. Sato is the head of the women’s long distance team at the Nippon Sports Science University, where Tabal trained last month, while Usami is a marathon veteran of the 1968, 1972 and the 1976 Olympics.

    Tabal, who handed the Philippines’ its first gold medal in the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur where she finished with a time of 2:48:26, is hoping to refine her tempo until the first week of November.

    “We’re currently in the thick of our preparations, which means mileage is getting higher, track workouts are getting harder, legs are getting heavier, miles per miles per week, long runs, long intervals, being able to run on tired legs, mind over matter going to our peak period,” said Tabal, 30.