PSC carries fight for marathoner » Manila Bulletin Sports

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by Nick Giongco

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is hoping to “bridge the gap” between Rio Olympics marathoner Mary Joy Tabal and the Philippine Track and Field Association (Patafa), chairman William “Butch” Ramirez said yesterday.

The Patafa refused to recognize and honor Tabal’s first-place finish in the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon in Canada over the weekend, saying the Cebu City runner showed no seriousness in regaining her place in the national pool.

Tabal took first place in the half marathon and placed eighth overall, a feat the Patafa declined to acknowledge as she is not presently a national team member.

After being given provisional recognition last year by the Patafa so she can compete in the Rio Olympics, the Patafa said that Tabal did not make any efforts to reach out.

But Ramirez is not losing hope, believing that Tabal is a genuine gold medal prospect when the country competes in the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur this August.

“I hope that they find value in what she has done but I will not intervene,” said Ramirez, sounding cautious in pushing the issue with Patafa chief Philip Juico.

The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) is also refraining from dipping its fingers in the issue, saying a national sports association is autonomous.

“It is the NSA that calls the shots and we cannot dictate,” said POC first vice president Joey Romasanta.

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