Didal officially qualifies for the Tokyo Olympics

Published June 10, 2021, 2:28 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Filipina skateboarding icon Margielyn Didal has officially qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, World Skate announced on late Wednesday, June 9.

Margielyn Didal (MB File Photo)

The sports world governing body presented the 20 qualifiers, including Didal, in both men’s and women’s division of the park and street categories. Didal will compete in a familiar territory, which is the street category.

“These athletes have put in ample amounts of work and just as much patience as they’ve combatted the ups-and-downs that have been presented throughout this new process,” wrote World Skate in a statement.

“Each athlete has skated their hearts out to be among the elite group that will introduce skateboarding to the Olympic Games and it shows. By the looks of the list, it’s safe to say we’re going to see history made in more ways than one during the 2021 Summer Games.”

This makes the 22-year-old Cebuana pride the 10th Filipino to qualify to the Tokyo Games.

She is joined by pole vaulter EJ Obiena, world champion gymnast Carlos Yulo, boxers Eumir Felix Marcial, Irish Magno, Carlo Paalam, and Nesthy Petecio, 2016 Rio Games silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz of weightlifting, taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa, and rower Cris Nievarez.

Didal, who is No. 17 in the world and No. 5 in Asia, booked her way to the Olympics by way of world ranking. Previously though, she was in No. 13 and No. 3 in the world and Asia, respectively.

Skate Pilipinas was the first to announce earlier that Didal has made it into the Olympics despite the pending change of world rankings while the world championships was still ongoing.

Per the rules, the final 20 will be composed of host Japan, the Top 3 finishers in the recently held Street Skateboarding World Championships in Rome, Italy, and the remaining 16 from the world rankings.

READ: Olympic Channel pays tribute to Margielyn Didal, PH skateboarding scene

Since two of the three, namely Japan and Brazil, were already in the world rankings, Didal was able to move up to the list to clinch the Olympic berth.

Aori Nishimura (No. 3) of Japan dominated the world championships, followed by compatriot Momiji Nishiya (No. 5), and Brazilian Rayssa Leal (No. 2). Pamela Rosa of Brazil, meanwhile, remains atop of the world rankings.

Didal, a double gold medalist in the 2019 Southeast Asia Games, may have failed to punch an automatic berth after a semifinal finish but it was enough for her to haul 31,250 points and qualify to the Games.

READ: Didal is 2020 Asia Skater of the Year

Last month in Iowa, the cheerful skateboarder from Cebu also settled for a semifinal finish in the 2021 Dew Tour Des Moines.

Skateboarding will make its debut in the quadrennial meet which will kick off on July 23 to August 8.

READ: Pinoy pride! Young Filipino athletes who bring pride to PH on int’l scene