Martinez eyes gold in first ice skating tilt in SEA Games
Filipino Olympian figure skater Michael Martinez is eyeing no less than a gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia next year.
Ice skating is one of two winter sports to be introduced in the 2017 SEA Games, an event that could bring the Philippines a medal with Martinez a shoo-in to represent the country.
“I’m targeting gold, of course,” Martinez told reporters during a press conference at Aristocrat in Malate, Manila.
Martinez believes the Philippines has the edge in Southeast Asia when it comes to ice skating with his confidence drawn from his fellow skaters.
“I think we do have an advantage sa figure skating specially now that other Filipino skaters that are training here are really training really hard to improve their skills to be able to place in the Southeast Asian Games,” he said.
The 19-year-old Martinez has been busy with his training in the United States. He last competed in March when he placed 19th in the World Championship in Boston.
Martinez is back in Manila for his two-city skating camp to be held at SM Mall of Asia skating rink from June 15 to 17 and at SM Seaside City Cebu from June 30 to July 1.
Aside from the SEA Games, Martinez is also looking forward to competing in his second Winter Olympics in 2018 which will be held in PyeongChang, South Korea.
In his first Olympic stint, Martinez made history in becoming the first skater from the region to qualify for the Winter Olympics which was held in Sochi, Russia. He finished in 19th place.
“I feel that I’m better prepared now to compete in the Olympics,” he said.
Martinez admits there is going to be pressure when he takes the ice in the SEA Games, but that doesn’t seem to be much of a concern for the teen sensation.
“Yes, there’s pressure but like they say, diamonds are built under pressure,” he said with a smile