IT is official. Filipino skateboarder Margielyn Didal is heading to the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The development was confirmed by World Skate, the international body governing roller sports, late on Wednesday (Manila time), making the 22-year-old Didal the 10th Filipino athlete to date to have qualified for the rescheduled Olympics.
Ms. Didal joins pole-vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnast Caloy Yulo, boxers Eumir Felix Marcial, Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, rower Cris Nievarez and taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa in the Philippine Olympic contingent.
The Cebu native qualified because of her World Skateboarding Rankings in the street event which has her at 17th place.
Despite being outside of the top 16 which are allotted automatic spots for the Games, the Philippine bet managed to squeeze in since two of the three podium finishers in the recent Skateboarding Worlds in Rome, where three Olympic spots were up for grabs, were already in the top 16.
One spot is also allotted for Olympic host Japan to complete the 20-man Olympic street skateboarding field. Only three athletes per country, however, are allowed.
Ms. Didal’s Olympic qualification was already known immediately after the Rome event last weekend but was made official only this week. She is the lone Filipino skateboarder making the trip to Tokyo.
“Going to Tokyo…” Ms. Didal wrote on Instagram.
Street skateboarding will make its Olympic debut this year, with competition slated to take place from July 25 to 26.
Apart from Ms. Didal, also part of the Olympic street skateboarding field are Pamela Rosa, Rayssa Leal and Leticia Bufoni of Brazil, Aori Nishimura, Momiji Nishiya and Funa Nakayama of Japan, Mariah Duran, Alexis Sablone and Alana Smith of the United States, Roos Zwetsloot, Candy Jacobs and Keet Oldenbeuving of the Netherlands, Hayley Wilson of Australia, Wenhui Zeng of China, Lore Bruggeman of Belgium, Julia Brueckler of Austria, Charlotte Hym of France, Asia Lanzi of Italy, and Boipelo Awuah of Saudi Arabia.
In the Olympics, which takes place from July 23 to Aug. 8, Ms. Didal looks to add on the gold medals she won in the 2018 Asian Games and 2019 Southeast Asian Games. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo