By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
IN the mix to make it to the Tokyo Summer Games later this year, Filipino skateboarding star Margielyn Didal said she is determined to see her Olympic push through but admitted needing all the help that she can get to make it a reality.
Currently ranked 14th in the world, Ms. Didal, 20, is on the right track in her bid for Olympic qualification.
She, however, still needs to fortify her position by competing and doing well in a series of qualifiers in the lead-up to the Games as other top skateboarders are also expected to go all out to earn an Olympic spot for themselves.
In the Olympics, only the top 20 skateboarders in the world qualify, leaving slots really tightly fought for.
“I’m confident of entering the Olympics but there a lot of competitions that I have to compete in. We need all the support that we can get for these events to sustain the momentum we have built and get the points needed to stay in contention for a spot in the Olympics,” said Ms. Didal in an interview.
She is currently in Hong Kong training for the qualifier next month in Melbourne, Australia. Ms. Didal is also girding for another competition in Peru in March.
The Cebu City native built much momentum in her Olympic thrust as 2019 drew to a close, finishing well in tournaments she competed in, including the 30th Southeast Asian Games here in the country where skateboarding made its debut.
Ms. Didal was a two-time gold medallist in the SEA Games, winning in street skateboarding and Game of S.KA.T.E.
Prior to it, she also competed in the OI STU Open Street/Park Skateboarding in Brazil in November where she finished in the top 10.
Those good showing she had has her confident of her chances even as she said that she hopes to take cue from them in competitions this year.
“Currently I’m in the top 14 in the world and we are on the right path, so there is a chance. If the Olympics started today we can qualify,” said Ms. Didal.
The Asian Games gold medallist went on to underscore that the tack to have Filipino athletes have more foreign exposure must be sustained to gauge “where we are in our game.”
She also welcomes plans to build more skate parks in the country where skateboarders like her can hone their skills and train.
For the SEA Games, skateboard facilities were built in Tagaytay City while the Bases Conversion and Development Authority said that Phase 2 of the development of the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac, is planned to include skate parks.