PH’s Martinez qualifies to medal round of men’s figure skating in Sochi

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Michael Christian Martinez of the Philippines competes in the men’s short program figure skating competition at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. AP

MANILA, Philippines—Michael Christian Martinez, the Philippines’ first Winter Olympian in more than two decades, advanced to the medal round of the men’s figure skating competition in Sochi late Thursday (Manila time).

The 17-year-old Martinez impressed on the rink with a smooth performance—nailing the triple Axel jump—and earned a score of 64.81 (33.31 technical, 31.50 component), which was good for 19th place at the conclusion of the competition.

As his score was being announced, the homegrown figure skater flashed a white jacket emblazoned with the word “Philippines.”

Even before setting foot on the rink, Martinez already made history by being the first figure skater to represent the Philippines and Southeast Asia in the Winter Games.

Martinez, who was fifth on the start list, donned a black-and-white suit with gold accent and performed to the tune of “Romeo and Juliet” by Arthur Fiedler.

Martinez earlier held the fourth spot but later dropped further as other nations concluded. Nonetheless, he is through to the next round of the competition.

At the close, Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu claimed the no. 1 spot with an impressive score of 101.45, followed by Canada’s Patrick Chan with 97.52 points, and Patrick Fernandez of Spain with 86.98 points.

The top 24 figure skaters advanced to free skate program slated Friday 11 p.m., which will determine the podium finishers.

Russian figure skating legend Evgeni Plushenko withdrew from the competition and later on announced his retirement.

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  • Ay Taran…

    wish you good luck…sana manalo ka.!

  • ayana

    what a cutie~!

  • Penemuel

    I don’t know jacksh*t about figure skating… But that cantilever spread was just epic!

    Let’s go Michael!

  • niceguy60

    Way to go Michael!! ….we’re proud of you.

    Let us know how fans could help. You have a bright future. Keep up the good work.

  • 1voxPopuli

    just flying our flag and representing us in the winter olympics is already an honor. good job kiddo!

  • SC Kang

    Michael- you have made us proud of your performance. No matter where you place in the competition, you have overcome huge obstacles.
    It’s a tragedy that the Philippines Government has plenty of money sloshing around, but claim they can’t even buy an official team jacket for you.
    With a faith in God and the enormous support from your mother, you have shown an underdog can achieve anything.
    We are proud of you. Go forward and do your best. We are praying for you! God Speed!

  • eric_santiago1

    in 4 years this kid will be a real threat!

    • Chris Evan Jonance Ingeniero

      his only problem will be fundings but yes he will be.

      • Lemuel Vargas

        Think the NSA that represents him is the Philippine Skating Union.

  • neverwint3r

    this guy came out from nowhere, againts all odds but suddenly is making history. let’s support our pinoy athletes. he may not win any medal but the competitions alone is already great experience.

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