Margielyn Didal hopes victory becomes pro-skate park statement
TAGAYTAY – Fresh off her golden performance in the Southeast Asian Games, skateboarding star Margielyn Didal renewed her call for more facilities for the emerging sport in the country, saying the three medals won in the Game of SKATE event was a testament of the Philippines’ immense potential in the sport.
“We have to wake up,” Didal said. “It’s just the first event in skateboarding and we already have three medals. We don’t even have skate parks. Can you imagine if we have facilities, I’m sure there will be more medals to come.”
The 20-year-old Didal, the reigning Asian Games skateboarding street champion, ruled the first of her two events, overwhelming teammate Christiana Means in the women’s finals of the Game of SKATE before a huge crowd at Sigtuna Hall here.
The event may not be included in the Tokyo Olympics, where Didal is setting her sights on qualifying, but
it did showcase her ever-improving skill set.
“We saw a lot of improvement from Margielyn in this competition,” said Skateboarding and Roller Sports Association of the Philippines president Marty Mendigoria.
“It shows that her exposure (in the world circuit) is paying off. The Game of SKATE is not an Olympic event, but some of the tricks that she did in this event can be brought to her routine in the street competition.”
Didal is targeting a double gold output as she competes in her favorite street event on Friday at Tagaytay Skate Complex, which was built specifically for the SEA Games. Means, who is vying in the park event on Saturday, will be one of her main foes again.
“Expect more medals (from us),” added Didal, who won the coin toss and did not allow Means to go on the offensive in the finals.
Didal went on the hill with a “pretzel” trick, before finishing off with an “ollie body/varial” which Means failed to copy.
Making it a double celebration for the Philippines was 24-year-old Filipino-German Daniel Lederman, who took the gold in the men’s event at the expense of Indonesia’s Basral Hutomo.
Lederman, who traces his roots in Cebu, found himself under pressure against the 12-year-old Basral, who forced three mistakes from the Filipino skater.
But Lederman recovered, using a “360 front side shove it” and an even more difficult “laser flip” that Basral failed to pull off.
“He scared me a little bit,” said Lederman, referring to Basral, who ousted Filipino Jeffrey Gonzales in the quarterfinals last Tuesday. “It only shows that you can have your own fingerprints in skateboarding and one can also learn from the opponent.”