The Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) assured its support for Christine Hallasgo's bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics to be staged next year.
In fact, the sport's national governing body wanted Hallasgo to undergo overseas training to boost her campaign, like fellow national teammates sprinter-hurdler Eric Cray, sprinter Kristina Knott and shot putter William Morrison.
"We tried to train her somewhere else abroad ang problema is the pandemic," PATAFA chief Philip Juico said. "We're coming from a hotspot, baka hindi basta basta papasukin ang Pilipino abroad sa ngayon."
Hallasgo is now in her hometown in Malaybalay, Bukidnon, where she prepared for her golden triumph in Southeast Asian Games women's marathon.
She clocked 2 hours, 56 minutes and 52 seconds in that dramatic 42-kilometer race. For the Olympics, she has to register 2:29:30 to qualify.
Juico said Hallasgo has diligently trained with the guidance of her coaches.
For now, PATAFA is on the lookout for future marathons, where Hallasgo can test herself and eventually qualify for the Tokyo Games.
" 'Yung marathon qualifiers iilan lang kasi 'yun. The last day of qualifiers is in May 2021. So far wala pang balita because of the pandemic," Juico added.