Home sweet home.
Filipina skateboarding sensation Margielyn Didal returned to her hometown Cebu to reunite with her family after successfully qualifying for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Didal was accompanied by Philippine Olympic Committee President Bambol Tolentino, POC legal committee chairman Atty. Wharton Chan, and Skateboarding and Roller Sports Association of the Philippines President Carl Sambrano and coach Daniel Bautista en route to Cebu.
The 22-year-old Cebuana pride is fresh from a triumphant stint abroad, particularly with respective semifinal finishes in the 2021 Street Skateboarding World Championships in Rome, Italy in early June and the Dew Tour Des Moines in Iowa last month.
Didal, who is No. 17 in the world and No. 5 in Asia, qualified to the Tokyo Games by way of world ranking. Prior to the world championships, she was in No. 13 and No. 3 in the world and Asia, respectively.
Per the rules, the final 20 will be composed of host Japan, the Top 3 finishers in the world championships, and the remaining 16 from the world rankings. Since two of the three, namely Japan and Brazil, were already in the world rankings, Didal was able to clinch an Olympic berth.
“I hope to bring home a medal,” said Didal, who will undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine. “I’ll just do my best.”
Didal, however, only has 11 days to spend with her family as she is set to fly back to Sta. Monica and Los Angeles on July 1 to continue training.
The 2019 Southeast Asian Games double gold medalist will travel to Japan on July 18 with at least a week to condition herself in Tokyo.
Tolentino, meanwhile, believes that Didal meeting her family is an additional motivation for the Cebuana skateboarder heading into the Olympics.
“I know how much Margie wanted to be with her family and the satisfaction it will give her before going to the Olympics. We just exerted all efforts to make it happen,” said the POC chief. “It will boost her confidence to capture the country’s first Olympic gold medal.”