Freeman Cebu Sports

Didal fails to medal but win hearts

Emmanuel B. Villaruel - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Cebu’s pride Margielyn Didal faltered in her determined quest to produce medal for the Philippines in skateboarding event that was contested for the first time in the Olympics.

Didal, the “golden girl” during the inaugural skateboarding competitions at the Asian Games ang Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, gave the entire Filipino nation a glimmer of hope when she advanced to the final round after placing seventh out of 20 tough contenders in the preliminaries of women’s street skate with a score og 12.02.

But in the finals, the Barangay Lahug, Cebu City-native Didal landed only at seventh spot with 7.52.

Japan’s 13-year-old skateboard prodigy Momiji Nishiya tallied 15.26 after two runs and awe-inspiring tricks to clinch the gold medal while her compatriot Funa Nakayama settled for bronze with 14.49 in a remarkable 1-3 podium finish for the host country. Rayssa Leal of Brazil took the silver with 14.64.

Still, the 22-year-old Didal can hold her head up high for giving her all-out best in the face of overwhelming odds. She can find consolation in the thought that the heavily favored World No.1 Pamela Rosa of Brazil did not make it to the medal round and World No.3 Aori Nishimura of Japan finished last in the finals.

More importantly, Didal won the hearts of her countrymen for her jolly disposition and unflinching positivity throughout the competition.

Despite falling in her initial runs and limping after her first trick in the final round, Didal was always smiling, occasionally flashing a thumbs-up sign and waving her hands with great delight to a small crowd as if she delivers a winning performance.

Didal was also seen cheering up and congratulating her fellow competitors whenever they executed spectacular tricks.

Regardless of the outcome, it was obvious that Didal was having the time of her life.

“We’re here for each other. We cheer for each other, that’s what skateboarding is,” said Didal in a report by Michelle Lojo of Philstar.com.  In the same report, coach Anthony Claravall praised Didal’s attitude of being in the moment.

“She’s like, ‘the knee and ankle at still there. It’s still attached so I’m gonna do it’,” said Claravall

Didal echoed Claravall’s statement, telling One Sports’ Gretchen Ho that she pushed forward and kept strong because it was “Para sa Bayan” (for the nation).

For her sunny disposition and admirable display of good sportsmanship, Didal earned a certain measure of respect and is certainly a big winner in Tokyo.

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