JAKARTA—Skateboarder Margielyn Didal made plenty of new fans with her superb performance in the women’s street event in the 2018 Asian Games, wherein she earned the Philippines’ fourth gold medal.
The 19-year-old from Cebu was nothing short of dominant in the event, putting up a score of 30.4 points while Japan’s Isa Kaya was a distant second, at 25.0. Indonesia’s bet, 12-year-old Nyimas Bunga, took the bronze with a score of 19.8 in the event held at the JSC Skate Park in Palembang.
“Sobrang saya ko po,” Didal told reporters in Palembang after her golden feat, which assured the Philippines of its best performance in the Asian Games in 12 years.
Didal immediately set the bar by scoring 6.7 points in her first run, but ramped it up even further in the tricks section. A board slide got her a 6.0 in her first trick before settling for a 3.7 in her second. It was her third and fourth tricks that sealed Didal the gold.
Her coup de grace was an acrobatic “backside 50/50, 360-degree flip out” that drew oohs and ahhs from the gallery – an astonishing feat considering that it was the first time she did it in a major international competition.
“This was the first time that Margielyn tried that stunt and is the highest score garnered by any skateboarder so far in the street event,” noted Monty Mendigoria, president of the Skateboard Association of the Philippines Inc., the sport's national governing body.
Didal later told reporters that she dealt with nerves simply by being her usual “makulit" self, and she showed it after the fourth trick when she dabbed not once but twice as if to highlight her feat.
“Enjoy lang, kulit-kulit lang para ’wag isipin ’yung kaba,” said Didal. “Madami na-ano sa akin, sa sobrang kulit ko po.”
“Wala pa ring kupas ’yung kakulitan — dapat lahat ng atleta, ganyan. ’Wag lang isipin ’yung events, dapat enjoy lang.”
As a gold medalist, Didal is set to receive P6 million in total bonuses, which she says will go to her family so they can start a business.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)