Di­dal gains out­right semis berth in Rio

Tempo - - Comics - By DEN­NIS PRINCIPE

If her per­for­mance last year would be used as a gauge, there is a chance Asian Games gold win­ner Margielyn Di­dal can make heads turn 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 the world rank­ings will be given slots in the Olympic qual­i­fiers. 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 more in­ter­na­tional skate­board­ing events up un­til the start of the Olympic qual­i­fiers.

“Yung top 38 mabibi­gyan ka lang ng slot to join the Olympics qual­i­fiers but for the qual­i­fiers, ibang la­ban pa yun,” added Mendigo­ria who said the Olympic qual­i­fier may be held early next year.

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).

(Cour­tesy of Dani Bautista)

MARGIELYN Di­dal

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