Skateboarder Didal misses out on podium finish

Boxers Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam advance to next round

TOP Filipino skateboarder Margielyn Didal reached the finals of the women’s street skateboarding event at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday but missed out on landing a podium finish.

Made history by becoming one of the skateboarders in the sport’s Olympic debut, Ms. Didal, 22, finished seventh in the finals of the street competition held at the Ariake Urban Sports Park.

Meanwhile, boxers Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam are through to the next round of their respective divisions.

Cebu native Didal booked a spot in the finals of the women’s street event by making it to the top 8 in the preliminaries with a score of 12.02, good for seventh place.

In the finals, she struggled, particularly in the tricks where she only managed to complete only one of her five tries with a score of 2.97 (second trick).

She wound up with a final score of 7.52, ahead of Japanese Nishimura Aori (6.92).

Japan, however, was the biggest winner in the event with 13-year-old Nishiya Momiji (15.26) taking gold and Nakayama Funa (14.49) winning bronze.

Brazilian Rayssa Leal (14.64) won the silver.

Also on Monday, boxers Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam advanced their Olympic campaigns.

Women’s featherweight Petecio upset top seed Lin Yu-Ting of Chinese Taipei by split decision, 3-2, in their Round of 16 encounter at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo.

The judges scored it, 28-29, 29-28, 28-29, 29-28, 29-28, for the Filipino boxer.

Ms. Petecio of Davao del Sur had it tough against Ms. Lin in the first two rounds but dug deep and did just enough in the third to hack out the big win.

The featherweight boxing quarterfinal phase happens on July 28. If Ms. Petecio advances to the semifinals, she is already assured of an Olympic medal.

Meanwhile, flyweight Paalam won his opening-round bout, beating Ireland’s Brendan Irvine by split decision in their Round of 32 clash, 4-1.

The judges scored it, 30-27, 29-28, 28-29, 30-27, 29-28, in favor of the Bukidnon native.

Twenty-three-year-old Paalam started aggressive from the opening bell, trying to get early momentum from his taller opponent.

He was successful in doing so, landing solid blows to the body and head.

Mr. Irvine managed to land shots as the fight wore on but in the end, it was not enough to thrust him to the win.

Next for Mr. Paalam is a Round of 16 clash with Algeria’s Mohamed Flissi on July 31.

One last Filipino athlete was set to see action on Monday in weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz who was to compete in the -55kg category. Ms. Diaz was angling to improve on her silver medal-winning performance in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo

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