Sofia Frank finishes 22nd in Nebelhorn Trophy short program

Sofia Frank faces an uphill climb in the Nebelhorn Trophy after finishing at 22nd place in the women's short program on Thursday, September 23 (Friday, September 24, Manila time), in Oberstdorf, Germany.

Performing to the tune of 1970s classic Last Dance by Donna Summer, the Filipino-American earned a score of 47.65 as she landed in the middle of the pack of the 37-woman field.

It is the first time the 15-year-old Frank – the daughter of beauty queen Precious Tongko – is competing outside the United States and the first time she is representing the Philippines in a major international tournament.

The Nebelhorn Trophy serves as the last figure skating qualifier for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

USA's Alysa Liu, a two-time national champion, claimed the top spot in the short program with 70.86 points.

Switzerland's Alexia Paganini, the 2020 Nebelhorn Trophy silver medalist, placed second with 65.65 points, while Belarus' Viktoriia Safonova wound up at third with 62.02 points.

Frank needs a solid performance in the free skate as she takes the ice again on Saturday, September 25.

Only six female skaters with the highest combined scores from the short program and free skate will punch their tickets to the Winter Olympics.

In the men's division, Filipino-Canadian Edrian Paul Celestino ranked 16th in the short program out of 30 skaters.

Celestino will see action again in the free skate on Friday. –

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.