Smiling Didal falls short in medal hunt

Nelson Beltran - The Philippine Star
Smiling Didal falls short in medal hunt
Philippines' Margielyn Arda Didal reacts after competing in the skateboarding women's street final of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Sports Park in Tokyo on July 26, 2021.

TOKYO ­– Margielyn Didal came up short of a podium finish but nonetheless made the country proud with her Top Eight showing in skateboarding’s debut in the Olympics.

Didal finished seventh in the field of 20 competitors in the qualifying and failed to improve from there in the afternoon finale at the Ariake Urban Sports Center.

The skateboarding street event boiled down to a showdown among young teens as Didal spilled in executing four tricks and wound up with only 7.52 points.

The Cebuana, at 22 the second oldest among the eight skateboarders that advanced to the final, performed better in the qualifying where she logged 12.02 points.

Japanese Momiji Nishiya (15.26) held her nerve and won a tense showdown with fellow 13-year-old Rayssa Leal of Brazil (14.64) and another Japanese in 16-year-old Funa Nakayama (14.49).

With Nishiya’s triumph, the hosts celebrated a double victory with Yuto Horigome emerging the male champ last Sunday.

Those were the first two gold medals handed out in Tokyo Olympic skateboarding, with the men’s and women’s park competitions slated next.

In Didal’s event, skaters each had two 45-second runs on the equipment and five shots at a one-off trick. The best four scores out of the seven make up the final total.

Didal, who wore a big smile in the end, scored 2.33 and 2.22 in the two runs plus 2.97 in her completed trick. She failed to score in four other attempts.

Among the finalists, the United States’ Alexis Sablone is the oldest at 34.

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