After strong start, PH skaters looking to produce better medal haul
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines is looking to get into a new era in the ice skating world.
Philippine Skating Union president Josie Veguillas said her current crop of skaters is capable of exceeding the country’s silver medal finish in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games.
And the Philippine contingent in the 2019 Games is off to a brilliant start after the short program Friday at SM Megamall.
Alisson Krystle Perticheto topped the women’s short program with a score of 53.65 points, nearly three points ahead of Singapore’s Chloe Ing, the silver medalist in 2017, who had 50.67.
“These guys are improving, they’re giving it their all every time, and they’re always practicing, so I think they can have a better outing than what we had in 2017,” said Veguillas in Filipino.
Not to be outdone, Christopher Caluza and Edria Paul Celestino also made a case for the podium, finishing second and third, respectively, in the men’s short program.
Caluza had 62.37 points while Celestino tallied 61.52 while top placer Julian Zhie Jie Yee, the gold medalist in the 2017 Games, finished with 63.35 points.
What makes Caluza and Celestino’s feat that much more impressive is the two of them are on their first SEA Games.
“We just have to give them more time, they’re just starting,” said Veguillas.
Veguillas, meanwhile, said that Michael Christian Martinez, the 2014 Winter Olympian and gold medalist in the 2015 Asian Open Figure Skating Trophy, chose to skip this year’s competition and opted not to try out for the national team.
“We invited him to tryout for the nationals, but he didn’t join while these two [Caluza and Celestino] tried out,” said Veguillas. “We just have to be fair, just because you became a champion a couple of years ago, you’re still a champion today.”
“If you don’t practice, what’ll happen right? The other skaters, even though they’re new, they’re training so these guys will eventually catch up to you.”