JAKARTA—From being chased by security guards in Cebu City for skateboarding along the streets, Margielyn Didal is now set to get plenty of help as she pursues her goal of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
The 19-year-old Didal still remembers how they would be chased by police whenever they used their skateboards in Cebu.
“Minsan, ’pag nasa mall, ’pag may hawak na skateboard, bawal nang pumasok,” she also recalled.
Everything has changed for Didal, however, now that she won a gold medal for the Philippines in the women’s street event of skateboarding in the 2018 Asian Games.
Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña has promised to build a skate park in their city, and welcomed Didal’s output on it.
“Nadinig ko nga po ’yun,” Didal said of the plans made by the mayor of her hometown. “Sobrang happy ko po, hindi lang para sa akin pero para sa lahat ng Cebu skaters.”
Osmeña is just one of many prospective backers to have reached out and offered help for Didal, whose next order of business is to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
Qualification to the Games will be based on the World Skateboarding Rankings, with athletes earning points by competing in events sanctioned by World Skate, the officially recognized world-governing body for skateboarding and roller sports. The qualification period is from January 1, 2019 to May 20, 2020.
As host, Japan is already assured of one spot in each of the four skateboarding events, while the top three finishers in the world skateboard championships immediately before the Olympics will earn tickets to Tokyo.
Didal and the other Olympic skateboarding hopefuls from all over the world will have their first crack at earning qualifying points in the Street League Skateboarding world championships in Rio de Janeiro, in January.
“Kailangan po natin ng participation sa every event,” said Didal. “Especially sa SLS (Street League Skateboarding) na napuntahan ko last May.”
“May X-Games, and lahat ng X-Games dapat salihan, kasi for skateboarding and roller sportsyun ang ticket for slots para sa Tokyo Olympics,” she added.
Given the number of competitions that she has to join on the road to Tokyo, Didal is thrilled to have been promised help by several sectors.
“Ang dami pong support, and especially ngayon, ang daming offer,” she said. “Especially MVPSF (MVP Sports Foundation).”
Didal will compete in an all-woman speed skate event in San Diego, Calif., later this year, before bracing for the first qualifying event in Rio de Janeiro.
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.