Skateboarder Margielyn Didal ready to go all-out for Olympic glory

Published June 25, 2021, 3:59 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Olympic-bound skateboarder Margielyn Didal is ready to unleash all the tricks up her sleeves when she competes in the 2021 Tokyo Games next month.

Margielyn Didal (Handout)

National team coach Dani Bautista said they have been working on Didal’s late flip-outs and 360 flip-outs, to name a few, to execute the best course possible for the Filipina skating icon.

Bautista explained that there will be major changes in Didal’s performance for the Olympics compared to her World Championships stint in Rome, Italy, where she skated her way to a semifinal finish and an eventual ticket to the Tokyo Games.

“Our main strategy for the World Championships was to qualify for the Olympics,” Bautista told reporters in an online roundtable discussion Friday, June 25. “Because of how the course layout was, it was really big so most of the skaters were getting their tricks at the big section and we didn’t want Margie to risk because she wasn’t so comfortable and we didn’t want her to risk injury so we just stuck with the trick that she was comfortable with in the middle section.

“So for the Olympics, we’re gonna go all-out. We’re gonna go skate where everyone else is skating. And then if not, if we go to the middle section, there’s gonna be more technical tricks to compete with the other tricks of the other girls.”

READ: Didal is 2020 Asia Skater of the Year

Both Didal and Bautista are currently in Cebu as the 22-year-old Cebuana skater prompted to take a quick rest with her family before flying back to Sta. Monica and Los Angeles for another scheduled training.

Didal, a double gold medalist in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, is set to travel to Japan in the second week of July with ample time to condition herself days before the Tokyo Games.

Didal qualified for the Olympics after settling for two semifinal finishes in the World Championships and the Dew Tour Moines in Iowa to finalize her world rankings at No. 17 and No. 5 in Asia.

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

Just like in the World Championships, Didal is expecting a huge hurdle ahead against the top skaters from the United States, Brazil, and Tokyo.

Per world rankings, Brazil and Japan are indeed on top of the leaderboard led by Pamela Rosa (BRA), Rayssa Leal (BRA), Aori Nishimura (JPN), Leticia Bufoni (BRA), and Momiji Nishiya (JPN) in particular order.

“It’s really tough ‘cos we have strong competitors from US, Brazil, Tokyo, and all of them are like — all of that country have the best skateparks,” said Didal. “They have their own facilities everywhere in their country. Even in their hometown, they have a lot of skate parks so they can train without traveling.

“That’s the biggest gap but I think I’m also positive that I can do it,” added Didal.

READ: Didal, PH skateboarders maximize training in custom-built facility in Cebu