MANILA - Marathon King Eduardo Buenavista and Marathon Queen Mary Joy Tabal were named yesterday by Milo to represent the Philippines in the Paris Marathon after capturing their respective titles in this year’s edition of the 42 kilometer Milo Marathon national finals in Manila.
In winning the Milo run yesterday in the women’s department, the 24-year old Tabal broke the 2011 record set by Jho-Ann Banayag to claim an additional P20,000 on top of the her P250,000 cash prize as winner.
On the other hand, back-to back winner Buenavista claimed his fifth title in the Milo run with the time of 2:27:14 as he holds the current men’s seven record for the 42 kilometer national marathon.
He went home richer by P150,000 from his local leg victory in this year’s 37th edition sponsored by Milo in more than two decades.
Tabal, who holds a masters degree in Public Administration from the Southwestern University of Cebu said she was surprised by her own feat despite the presence of strong Kenyans who made the field very competitive from the start.
The 4’11” Tabal, a Philippine Sports Commission athlete based in Cebu said she has been training for at least a distance of 150 kilometers a week because her initial target was to hit below the three-hour mark which she did and broke a long-standing record in the process.
“The Paris Marathon will be a news challenge for me, and I hope to be one of the many athletes who would be able to bring great pride to our nation,” during the post-race interview at the SM Mall of Asia grounds tent put up by Milo.
Buenavista, meanwhile, said that it served him well to compete in the Milo National Finals since he will be bid goodbye to the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association, his home court since 1999.
”This year will be my farewell stint with PATAFA. At 35, they think I’m a goner—-that I may not be the athlete they have nurtured for the past several years.
"I hope my winning this Milo championship will prove them wrong. The truth is I have trained devotedly for this year’s Myanmar South East Asian Games but I was dropped from the delegation roll at the last minute,” Buenavista said.
He added that he has always been a part of the Philippine delegation to all SEA Games and won five golds to boot so he was hurt and disappointed when he failed to make it this year.*PNA
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