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PATAFA softens stand

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Mary Joy Tabal has been asked to fly to Manila on Monday to expedite her reinstatement as a member of the Philippine Track and Field Association, a move the Cebu-based marathoner insists she won’t pass up.

PATAFA chief Philip Juico has called out Tabal’s sponsor to bring the 26-year-old long distance queen to travel to Manila as officials are rushing to speed up the submission of necessary documents needed for inclusion to the Rio Olympics scheduled Aug. 5 to 21.

Rio Games chief of mission Joey Romasanta had briefed Tabal about her status despite her meeting the Olympic standard during a race in Ottawa, Canada, late last month.

“Yes, we did talk last night (Thursday) and Mr.Romasanta told me to prepare the necessary documents,” said Tabal, who placed eighth in the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon.

“I am just waiting what the PATAFA is going to tell me and I am ready to go to Manila,” said Tabal, who has submitted her application for reinstatement.

“Whatever it takes to make it to Rio,” said Tabal, who clocked 2 hours, 43 minutes and 30 seconds in Canada, one and a half minutes faster than the Olympic grade of 2:45.00.

While Tabal was able to make the standard, it doesn’t follow that she has earned an Olympic berth owing to her status as being an athlete who didn’t get the endorsement from the PATAFA.

Tabal had severed ties with the PATAFA last year and entered the Ottawa race without the PATAFA’s sanction.