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Skateboarding venue for SEA Games almost complete

MANILA -- The 30th Southeast Asian Games skateboarding competition venue in Tagaytay is now 99.5 percent ready.

Skateboarding and Roller Sport Association of the Philippines (SRSAPI) president Monty Mendigoria said the national skateboarding team has already been practicing at the Tagaytay street and park courses since last week.

Margie Didal and Kiko Francisco along with coach Daniel Bautista are arriving from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Wednesday to start practice next weekend.

Filipino-American Cristiana Means is also arriving next week from Oregon to join the team in its final preparations for the biennial games set to be held from November 30 to December 11.

Skateboarding will be played for the first time in the SEA Games and also at the Olympics in Tokyo next year.

Jefrrey Gonzales, who also trained overseas, is already in the country and has been practicing with the national team.

The 4-man downhill skateboarding team led by Jaime Delange and Abigail Veloria has also been in rigid practice at the SEA Games downhill course in Maragondon under the tutelage of world Champion Harry Clark of Australia.

Mendigoria revealed that Clark actually learned downhill skating in the Philippines when his family was still residing in the country many years ago and improved his skills when he went back to Australia.

The SEA Games skateboarding competitions will be on Dec. 3-8 with eight golds at stake in the Park, Street, Game of Skate and downhill competitions.

Mendigoria is confident of dominating the sport in the SEA Games especially with the full support given to them in training and international exposures by the Philippine Sports Commission.

Aside from the Philippines, the six other Southeast Asian countries that will compete in skateboarding are Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam.

The skateboarders will be arriving on November 28 and 29 in time for the official practice at the Tagaytay skatepark and street courses on December 1 and 2. (PR)

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