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Skateboarder gives PH 4th gold medal

 

By NICK GIONGCO

 

JAKARTA – Roll out the red carpet for Margie Didal, the country’s latest Asian Games gold medalist.

Didal ruled the skateboarding street event Wednesday in the co-host city of Palembang to raise the Philippines’ medal tally to four by besting Isa Kaya of Japan and Bunga Nyimas of Indonesia at the JSK Skteboarding Stadium.

The 19-year-old from Cebu earned 30.4 points while Kaya got 25 and Nyimas collected 19.8 to join weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz and golfer Yuka Saso and the women’s gold team as the country’s top performers so far.

“I am so happy that I won the gold,” said Didal, who went to school at Lahug High in Cebu City.

The fourth of five children, Didal began skating seven years ago and has since fractured a collarbone and lost a tooth while doing her thing.
In Palembang, Didal didn’t break any bone nor lost another tooth.

What she got in return was accolades from the country’s top sports officials, led by Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Ricky Vargas, who arrived in Palembang from Jakarta just before Didal’s feat.

“She is an inspiration to all and we are ecstatic about Margie Didal’s victory,” said POC president Ricky Vargas, who was with POC chairman Bambol Tolentino when Didal pulled off the biggest win of her career.

“I hope our remaining athletes draw inspiration from her and our other medalists. Laban pa Pinoy,” added Vargas.

To prepare for the Asian Games, Didal competed and trained in the US and also had a stint in the UK.

With her accomplishment, Didal stands to get R6 million from a mixed of government and private sector funding.

“I will keep the money, share it with the family and start a business,” said Didal.

Skateboarding is making its debut here and will also make its first appearance when Tokyo hosts the Olympics in 2020.

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