Margielyn Didal crashes in Asian Games skateboard title defense
HANGZHOU, China—Hobbled by a surgically-repaired left ankle, skateboarder Margielyn Didal relinquished her title in women’s street after falling off her board several times in the 19th Asian Games here.
Didal, bothered by her foot which required surgery 11 months ago that sidelined the Cebuana for a long time, tallied 23.39 points in her first run and 12.84 in the next, winding up last among eight competitors.
The 24-year-old 2018 Asiad champion slipped again thrice in all of her tries in the trick sequence, putting the famed Filipino skater out of the running for good at the Qiantang Roller Sports Centre here.
“My injury has already healed, but I can still feel the tightness around my foot. It’s probably due to the metal plates that were installed,’’ said Didal
After rolling the aggravated ankle on the third trick attempt, the Tokyo Olympian stayed on the ground for a while, massaged her foot and stood up limping to the sidelines.
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China’s Chi Chenxi ruled the event the combined a pair of runs and five tricks with 242.62 points while compatriot Zeng Wenhui got the silver with 236.61. Japan’s Miyu Ito settled for the bronze with 213.00.
Didal dislocated and fractured her ankle during the Red Bull Stake Levels last year in Brazil.
Since then, it took a while before she rode the board again and jumpstarted her return bid in the continental meet, the site of her sudden rise to prominence five years ago.
Didal’s gold contributed to that “women power’’ in the 2018 Asian Games where Team Philippines collected four golds, including the individual victories of weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz and golfer Yuka Saso, who also led the women’s team to triumph along with Bianca Pagdanganan and Lois Kaye Go.
After Didal’s instant fame came in the Asiad, she became a byword in Philippine skateboarding and pocketed two more golds during the Philippine hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games held in Tagaytay City.