Skaters hope to contribute big in PH SEA Games campaign

MEDAL HOPEFUL. Skateboarder Margielyn Didal is touted to be one of the country’s medal hopefuls in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, which the Philippines will host from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 this year. Didal brought glory to the country when she bagged gold medal in the 2018 Asian Games. (Photo courtesy of Jat Tenorio)

MANILA — Skateboarding in the Philippines was catapulted to prominence when Margielyn Didal captured a gold medal in the 2018 Asian Games.

Didal’s brilliance will certainly rub off to the rest of the national skaters as they seek to rule skateboarding competitions in the coming 30th Southeast Asian Games on Nov. 30-Dec. 11 this year.

Skateboarding chief Monty Mendigoria won’t count the number of medals that they can probably seize in the discipline yet but is certain that the team will be pumped up in front of the hometown crowd during the meet to be held in Tagaytay City.

“Malaki ang chance natin, lalo na (We have a big chance especially that) we are considered as a powerhouse in Southeast Asia,’’ said Mendigoria, president of the Skateboarding and Roller Sports Association of the Philippines (SRSAP), the local governing body of the sport.

“But of course we have to work really hard lalo na sa mga ensayo (particularly during practice),’’ added Mendigoria.

Eight golds are at stake in skateboarding’s street event, game of skate and downhill events for men’s and women’s categories.

Aside from Didal, the sport will display fresh local and international talents that will surely play their hearts out for a successful SEA Games campaign.

Filipino-Americans Christiana Means and Jericho “Kiko” Francisco will join Didal in donning the national colors along with eight other skaters.

Mendigoria, however, would keep the final list of Filipino skaters confidential until the deadline of submission of names to the SEA Games Federation.

“I don’t want to give any details for now kasi baka masilip tayo ng mga kalaban (because opponents might scout us). But definitely, kumpleto na ang line-up natin (our line-up is already final),” said Mendigoria.

“We have 11 athletes who will compete, including Margie, of course. Kapag okay na ‘yung line-up ng ibang countries (if the line-ups of other countries are already out), we will disclose the line-up for our team,” said Mendigoria. PNP-