Hidilyn Diaz, Margielyn Didal gun for Olympic medals Monday

By: Francis T.J. Ochoa - Philippine Daily Inquirer | July 26,2021 - 07:06 AM

Four time Olympian Hidilyn Diaz and skateboarding star Margielyn Didal vie for medals on Monday in the Tokyo Olympics. FILE PHOTOS

TOKYO—Hidilyn Diaz moves into the spotlight on Monday with the hopes of a country now heavier on her as she shoots for a gold medal in the women’s weightlifting 55k-kilogram category in the Tokyo Olympics here.

Margielyn Didal, meanwhile, is making her first Olympic appearance—her sport, skateboarding, is making its Summer Games debut this year.

Despite being the reigning Asian champion, she is not that highly rated in the competition, as she faces a phalanx of talented rivals from Brazil and host Japan.

And that explains her chill approach to her quest for a medal at Ariake Skate Park also on Monday—even taking time out to joke about the heat athletes have been talking about the past few days.

“This is like a dream course, but with this weather, you kind of wish you were at the beach or in the water,” she said via flash quotes provided by Olympic organizers.

“Skateboarding’s not about how good or bad you’re skating, as long as you’re enjoying it,” she also said. “For this, the Olympics, the first one that will be in the history books, like there’s a lot of good competitors, but I’m just going to try to enjoy it and cherish every moment of this contest.”

Diaz, meanwhile, has a lot riding on her shoulders. A world record holder stands in her way and add to that the fact that the Games will be played under the shadow of a virus that has necessitated frequent testing.

“There are times when the anxiety is too high; there are times when I cannot sleep because of the pressure,” Diaz said.

“And then you get tested every day,” added Diaz. “I’m really just thankful I have my team with me to help ease my anxieties.”

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TAGS: Hidilyn Diaz, Margielyn Didal, Olympic Games

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