by Dennis Principe
If her performance last year would be used as a gauge, there is a huge chance Asiad gold winner Margielyn Didal would be considered a force to reckon with in the entire qualifying process for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
The 19-year-old Didal is currently in Rio De Janeiro in Brazil and is competing in the 2019 Street League Skateboarding PRO elite competitions where she has been given an automatic semifinal slot after being ranked 8th overall in last year’s SLS in London.Skateboarding and Roller Sports Association of the Philippines president Monty Mendigoria said the Brazil event will determine the first-ever world rankings for the Street League event which will also serve as a basis for next year’s Olympic qualifier campaigners.
“According to World Skate, only the top 38 in that world rankings will be given slots in the Olympic qualifier. So right now it’s not just about winning the event but also about gaining points to establish our ranks coming into the qualifier,” said Mendigoria.
Mendigoria clarified that if ever Didal makes it within qualifying mark in Brazil, she and the rest of the top 38 skateboarders need to maintain and even improve their numbers by competing in upcoming international skateboarding events up until the start of the Olympic qualifier.
“Yung top 38 mabibigyan ka lang ng slot to join the Olympics qualifier but for the qualifier, ibang laban pa yun,” revealed Mendigoria who said the Olympic qualifier may be held early 2020.
Mendigoria sees Didal, who won the gold in the Street League Skateboarding event of last year’s Asian Games in Indonesia, a surefire top 10 finishers in the ongoing Rio de Janeiro event.
Meantime, another Filipina in the Brazil event Christiana Means entered the semis after barging into the Top 11 during the preliminary round.
The Portland-based Means actually finished 12th but Russian bet Kate Shengeliya, herself an automatic semifinalist, failed to show up in the tournament.
Meanwhile, Didal and her fellow semifinalists will start their battle early morning Sunday, Manila time.