Martinez tumbles out of Winter Games | Inquirer Sports

Martinez tumbles out of Winter Games

/ 05:39 AM February 17, 2018

Michael Christian Martinez of the Philippines performs during the men’s short program figure skating in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Michael Christian Martinez failed to advance in the men’s single figure skating, finishing 28th in the short program Friday in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics at Gangneung Ice Arena in South Korea.

The 21-year-old could only muster 55.56 points—26.04 from technical elements and 29.52 from presentation—in his short program performance, good for third to the last place among 30 skaters.

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Only the top 24 skaters from the short program advanced to the free skate round which is slated on Saturday.

Though Martinez had a clean run without deductions, most of his moves were seen as largely basic compared to the level of difficulty of the routines of the other competitors.

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Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan led all the skaters with 111.68 points, followed by Javier Fernandez of Spain with 107.58 and Shoma Uno of Japan with 104.87.

In the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Martinez became the first ever Filipino skater qualifier. That time, Martinez proceeded to the next round after ranking 19th with his 64.81 points in the short program. He then ended up at 20th place after getting a 119.44 points in the free skate round.

The Philippines’ medal hopes in the quadrennial Games now hinges on Asa Miller, who will compete in the men’s giant slalom in the alpine skiing event on Sunday.

Martinez had been resigned to missing out on South Korea.

“I was sixth of seven at the qualifying event in Germany so I said to myself, it’s time to pack up my skates, I’m done,” he said after the men’s singles event.

“My federation told me that it is not going to happen, the other countries confirmed their spots.

“I retired. Then two-and-a-half weeks later they told me, ‘Michael, you’re in’.

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“I said, ‘No way!’”

Despite his lowly finish, Martinez said he was surprised by his performance.

“I don’t know how I was able to get all my jumps back. It usually takes two or three months to get your jumps back, but I was able to do triple loop and triple axel so it was fine.

“Normally, if I hadn’t got that call, I’d be back home watching this on TV.” It has been an emotional few days, said Martinez. “I teared up when I landed in Korea and saw the Olympic rings. It’s a miracle.” —RANDOLPH LEONGSON, INQUIRER.NET AND AFP

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TAGS: 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Michael Christian Martinez, Winter Games
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