No medal, but plenty of love for Didal in Olympics


Posted at Jul 26 2021 03:51 PM

No medal, but plenty of love for Didal in Olympics 1
Margielyn Didal of Philippines and Rayssa Leal of Brazil. Toby Melville, Reuters

Filipina skater Margielyn Didal may have missed the podium in the women's street event, but she endeared herself to fans all over the world thanks to her performance -- and personality -- at the Tokyo Olympics.

Didal, the reigning Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games champion, made it to the finals on Monday at the Ariake Skate Park in Tokyo.

However, she couldn't sustain a promising start after her first two runs, with an awkward fall in her first trick hampering her the rest of the way. Her final score of 7.52 was good for seventh place overall.

Yet Didal showed no signs of disappointment, even coming up with a big smile and a thumbs up after one of her spills. Even the official Tokyo Olympics account on Twitter took note of her infectious personality. 

She was also caught on camera giving a big hug to Brazil's Rayssa Leal, the 13-year-old phenom who settled for the silver after missing out on her last trick. The moment quickly went viral, and Didal was a hit on Brazilian Twitter.

In between her runs and tricks, Didal danced and cheered for her fellow skaters. After one run in the qualifiers, she turned to the camera and greeted her mother and father in the Philippines.

And before the finals, she even found time to do a quick TikTok with Leal.

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It was a memorable campaign for the 22-year-old skateboarder, who has gone a long way since being chased by security guards and police for practicing in the streets. 

Winning the gold was 13-year-old Nishiya Momiji of Japan, who leapfrogged Leal after scoring a 3.43 in her final trick for a total of 15.26. Completing the podium was another Japanese skater, Nakayama Funa, who scored 14.49.

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