Margielyn Didal, the 24-year old Filipino skateboarder, claimed her maiden gold at the Asian Games in 2018 with 30.4 points, beating Japan’s Kaya Isa with 25.0 points and Indonesia’s Bunga Nyimas with 19.8 points. Didal was one of five Filipino athletes to win gold that year, alongside Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdanganan, Lois Kaye Go, and Hidilyn Diaz.

Five years after her historic victory, Didal returned to compete at the Hangzhou Asian Games, where her aim was not to defend her title but to “regain her confidence and comfort with her board,”, according to ABS-CBN news.

Didal’s injury

In 2022, she suffered a serious ankle injury while competing in the Red Bull Sake Levels, resulting in surgery and a lengthy period of recuperation. According to Didal, the injury has since healed completely; however, she is still experiencing tightness in her ankle due to the metal plates that were placed there.

And this uneasiness became apparent at the Asian Games.

She struggled in the competition, and this became evident on her third trick, where she fell hard. Didal scored 23.39 points on her first run and then 12.84 in her second run to finish last among eight runners.

Didal later apologized to her fellow Cebuanos on Facebook for not clinching a medal at the event.

“Sorry Cebu, I didn’t get a medal, so we won’t have a skatepark.” Didal’s apology is a reference to the fact that the Cebu city officials promised to build a skatepark after she won the gold medal at the Asian Games in 2018, but nothing has been built yet. Now that Didal has failed to medal at the Hangzhou games, this promise seems even more far-fetched.

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Meanwhile, the youngest competitor at the event rose through the ranks and landed on top of the leaderboard with her best two runs and two tricks, obtaining a total score of 242.62 points. Cui Chenxi, who’s only 13 years old, became the Asian Games’ youngest gold medalist.

“I did quite well today,” Chenxi said.

Chenxi began her professional skateboarding journey only three years ago, and gaining expertise in such a short period of time and at such a young age means that we’ll see more of Chenxi’s astonishing skateboarding performances in the future.

In second place is Chenxi’s fellow compatriot, Zeng Wenhui, who got 236.61 points.

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