SEA Games: Skating chief remains hopeful despite the absence of Martinez

Mark Escarlote on Nov 29, 2019 09:08 PM
Skating chief remains hopeful despite absence of Martinez
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)

The absence of Michael Christian Martinez didn’t dampen the Philippines' hopes of winning a medal in the 30th Southeast Asian Games ice skating competition.

Martinez, a two-time Olympian, skipped the biennial meet to rest. 

“Gusto niyang magpahinga. Yun ang sinabi niya sa amin,” said Philippine Skating Union president Josefina Veguillas of the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games silver medalist. “In-invite naman namin siyang mag-tryout sa nationals kasi ‘yan ang qualification. Eh hindi siya nag-tryout.”

But instead of dwelling on the absence of the 2015 Asian Open Figure Skating gold medalist, Veguillas wanted to focus on the skaters currently donning the tricolor and performing in front of the home crowd.

The official praised Christopher Caluza and Edrian Celestino for their impressive debuts in the biennial meet.

“Talagang maganda ang performance nila,” said Veguillas. “Talagang pinakita nila na kaya nila.”

Caluza and Celestino finished second and third in the men’s short program on Friday at the SM Megamall Ice Skating Rink.

Caluza scored 62.37 points behind top placer Julian Zhi Jie Yee of Malaysia, who earned 63.35 points. Celestino had 61.52 points.

Instead of being pressured to follow the footsteps of Martinez, the duo would rather focus on creating their own history.

“The results of the past aren’t important for this current competition because this is the present and we’re trying to write our own history,” said Celestino.

“Same as what he said, you know. The past is the past and this is the future. The thing is the past results are never relevant,” said Caluza. “It’s always us that create the results for ourselves.”

The free skating event is set on Sunday.       

The scores from the short program and free skating will be added to determine the podium finishers.



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