By CARLO ANOLIN
Filipina skateboarding prodigy Margielyn Didal is cinch to make it to the Tokyo Olympics following a semifinal finish in the 2021 Street Skateboarding World Championships in Rome, Italy on Friday.
Though the world rankings have yet to be released as the tournament is still ongoing, Skate Pilipinas made an early announcement through a social media post.
“The official announcement of qualified skaters will only be released after the World Championships Finals in Rome, but Skate Pilipinas would like to be the first to announce that our very own [Margielyn Didal] has earned a slot for the Tokyo Olympics,” wrote Skate Pilipinas in an Instagram post. “Congratulations Margie! Mabuhay ka Margie!”
Didal, who is currently ranked No. 13 in the world and remained No. 3 in Asia, is bound to become the 10th Filipino to qualify for the Tokyo Games.
Early qualifiers to the coronavirus-delayed Olympics were pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnast Carlos Yulo, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, rower Criz Nievarez, taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa, and boxers boxers Eumir Felix Marcial, Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecho, and Carlo Paalam,
Didal failed in her bid to punch an outright berth to the Olympics after placing 17th overall in the semifinal despite a great start from Heats 1 and 2.
The 22-year-old Cebuana skateboarder had her best spot in Heat 1, placing fifth overall but she wasn’t able to sustain it for quite long.
Only the top eight will advance to the final while the podium finishers have the chance to book an automatic ticket to the Tokyo Games which will kick off next month.
Last month, Didal, a 2019 Southeast Asian Games double gold medalist, finished 12th place overall with another semifinal appearance in the Dew Tour Des Moines 2021 held at Des Moines, Iowa last month.
Meanwhile, Rayssa Leal of Brazil, Aori Nishimura and Funa Nakayama of Japan are the current Top 3 skateboarders heading into the final of the world championships on Sunday.