TOKYO — Margielyn Didal will be dealing with a field of play in the XXXII Olympiad like something she has never encountered before as a street skateboarder who made a name for herself in the Philippines and elsewhere as a bold and innovative skater.
“The Olympics has a bigger field of play, Iba siya from others at kumpleto talaga,” said Carl Sembrano, president of Skateboard Pilipinas Sunday morning on the eve Didal’s competition at the Ariake Urban Sports Park.
“Dati 2 to 3 rails, yung me steps, now 6 rails, may flat and round, variety talaga. Kumbaga, dati half court lang, ngayon buo na. ”
The competition, Sembrano said, will be nothing new to the Cebuana skateboarder who rose to fame after winning the gold medal in the street event at the 2018 Asian Games in Palembang, Indonesia, an accomplishment that introduced an integral element of the counterculture movement to the forefront of public consciousness.
“Kilala na ni Margie mga makakalaban niya, dati na niyang mga nakakasama,” said Sembrano.
According to the sport’s manual, “in street skateboarding, each skater will take two 45 second runs and perform five tricks that will be judged on a score out of 10. Out of those seven total performances, the four highest scores of each skater will count.”
“Sa diskarte na lang talaga magkakatalo,” said Sembrano, also the deputy secretary-general of the Philippine Olympic Committee.
Didal fell short of directly qualifying to the Games at the 2021 World Street Skateboarding Championships in Rome, but gained passage as the 17th placed athlete in the world.
“Actually, pasok na siya sa Olympics non,” said Sembrano. “We just protected her standings para di na bumaba.”