Figure skater Martinez settles for silver in SEA Games

KUALA LUMPUR – Michael Martinez settled for the silver medal in the men’s individual free skating event after falling down during his routine in the 29th Southeast Asian Games at the Empire City Arena in Damansara Perdana on Sunday night.

The 20-year-old Martinez only managed to score 171.63 points to finish behind gold winner Julain Zhi-Jie Yee (205.43) of Malaysia. The bronze went to Kai Xiang Chew (145.52) also of Malaysia.

Martinez tried a new but not too familiar routine in his first stint in the SEA Games.

“Basically this was the first time I was trying out my new program in a competition. This is so far the hardest among all the programs I have ever done, It usually takes three to four months to master the routine,” said Martinez, who saw action in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, 2012 Innsbruck Winter Youth Olympics and the Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan last February.

“This was the first time I included quads (jumps) in my program so there were still some refinements to do in my transition,” he said.

“Yee played it safe and did nothing new. That has been his routine in the three major tournaments he joined. Basically what he did was skate, jump, skate, jump while I introduced a lot of new things in my routine,” said Martinez.

Martinez is gearing up for the Nebelhorn Trophy, an Olympic qualifying tournament, in Germany, next month.

“This tournament will be the first Olympic qualifier to next year’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics,” said Martinez, who placed seventh in the same competition in 2013 that earned him a spot to the Sochi Olympiad. “I would really like to medal this time should I qualify.”

“This is a memorable experience which I hope I can repeat two years from now in Manila where I definitely will go out to win the gold,” said Martinez.

In the women’s division, Filipina Alisson Krystle Perticheto pocketed the bronze medal with a score of 113.40 points. Singaporean Shuran Yu scored 135.52 to win the gold medal while her compatriot, Chloe Xuaning Ing took the silver with 128.61 points.

Perticheto, 19, won the gold medal at the Egna Spring tournament in Italy this year. Two years ago, she bagged the silver at the Skate Helena Cup in Belgrade, Serbia. She has competed in the free skate at three ISU Championships, placing 18th at 2013 Junior Worlds in Milan, Italy; 17th at 2014 Four Continents in Taipei, Taiwan; and 16th at 2015 Four Continents in Seoul, South Korea.

Meanwhile, US-born Filipino Kathryn Magno will see action in the women’s individual 500-meter race in speed skating in the same venue on Tuesday.

Magno was born in San Jose, California. Her mother is from Quirino, Isabela while her father is from Subic Bay, Olongapo. She took up graphic design at the Art Institute in Sunnyvale, California.

Magno was a member of three figure skating clubs since 1995 before shifting to short track speed skating. Prior to the Asian Winter Games, she trained at the Olympic facility in Utah, United States for five months.

Magno began figure skating when she was five years old. She has competed abroad as member of the Philippine National figure skating team from ‎2008-2011.

Last year, she won four gold medals in the International Skating Union (ISU) World Tri-Series SEA Cup in Singapore. She got another gold in the ISU World Tri-Series Southern Cross in Australia in the same year.

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