Will Martinez win Olympics medal?
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Will Filipino figure skater Michael Christian Martinez bring home the country's first-ever Winter Olympics medal?
Filipinos will be watching late Friday evening, February 14, as he advances to the next challenge in his bid for an Olympic medal: the free skate competition. The program, scheduled to begin at 11:00 pm Philippine time (7:00 pm Sochi time), will determine who will win medals.
According to the Winter Olympics website, Martinez will be 3rd to perform in the free skate program which gives those competing about 4 minutes and 30 seconds to execute their routine. He will skate to the tune of “Malagueña" by Ernesto Lecuona.
The Philippines last participated in the alpine skiing event in 1992 when the Winter Olympics was held in Albertville, France. Prior to that, it participated in the luge event in 1988 in Calgary, Canada. It first competed in the 1972 Olympics held in Sapporo, Japan, also in alpine skiing. It did not win any medals.
Watch this recording of Malagueña as performed by pianist Thomas Tirino:
The 17-year-old figure skater from Parañaque, Metro Manila chalked up a score of 64.81 (33.31 technical, 31.50 component), netting him 19th place and a spot in the free skate program held at the Iceberg Skating Palace. (READ: Martinez enters Top 24 of Sochi figure skating)
Martinez, the first figure skater to ever represent a Southeast Asian country, was described as a “charismatic performer” with “good flexibility” during the broadcast of the Sochi figure skating competition late Thursday evening.
The lone entrant of the Philippines for the Sochi Winter Olympics, Martinez demonstrated “great performance skill," according to broadcast anchors. (READ: IN PHOTOS: PH enters Top 24 at #Sochi2014)
What are his chances?
Wrote Leah Faye Songalia for Rappler: "The odds of Michael being able to take down the likes of Yevgeny Plushenko, Patrick Chan & Yuzuru Hanyu, are very slim. Why, you may ask? Simple. Go quad or go home. Quads is the name of the 2014 games. The last man to win an Olympic gold medal sans quad was Evan Lysacek at the 2010 Vancouver Games and that caused a bit of a ruckus. It would take for all the top men to falter in their short & long programs for Michael to overtake them and medal. Watching a handful of Michael's perfomances, I noticed that he did not have a quad anywhere in his repertoire. A quadruple jump is practically a requirement for the men's, no matter what country you are from." (READ: What are the chances of Michael Martinez?)
For the country's honor
National Youth Commission (NYC) Commissioner Perci Cendaña holds Martinez in high esteem. In a statement, Cendaña said Michael is “epic.”
“Bilang isa sa pinakabatang atleta sa kanyang larangan, ipinamalas ni Michael ang galing ng kabataang Pinoy. Lumalaban para sa karangalan ng ating bansa,” Cendaña added.
(As one of the youngest athletes in his sport, Michael showed the skill of the Filipino youth. He is competing for the honor of the country.)
The first-ranked figure skater in the competition, 19-year-old Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, will be leading the pack of qualifiers. He will be the 21st skater to perform and will skate to the tune of Romeo and Juliet by Nino Rota.
In the short program, Hanyu set a new world record with his 101.45 score in the men's short program. Russian veteran Yevgeny Plushenko did not compete owing to a back injury. – Rappler.com
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