The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez is hoping to “bridge the gap” between Rio Olympics marathoner Mary Joy Tabal and the Philippine Track and Field Association (PATAFA) in the hope that the marathon star can join the Philippine delegation to the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games this August.
Despite Tabal’s impressive showing in the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon in Canada, the track and field association has refused to acknowledge het feat claiming she’s not a national team member.
The association also said 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.
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.