MICHAEL Christian Martinez, the lone Philippine entry in the 2014 Winter Olympics, formally bowed out of the medal race in men's figure skating after finishing 19th overall at the end of the event early Saturday morning in Sochi, Russia.
The 17-year-old Martinez skated third in the free skating round out of a field of 24 performers at the Iceberg Skating Place and finish with a total score of 119.44 built behind a technical score of 62.58 and a component score of 57.68.
Adding his 64.81 point during the short program routine on Friday, the Filipino garnered an aggregate score of 184.25 – the best out of the first six performers.
Unfortunately, Martinez failed to hang on and found himself finishing at exactly the same place he did during the short program routine just a day before.
Yuzuru Hanyu, the 19-year-old world record holder from Japan, expectedly won the gold medal as he bested Patrick Chen of Canada and Denis Ten of Kazakhstan, who settled for the silver and bronze medals, respectively.
The first Filipino and first Southeast Asian to enter the event, Martinez’s routine was orchestrated to Malaguena by Ernesto Lecuona, the same one he used when he qualified for the Olympics in the 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy.
Twenty minutes prior to the start of the competition, Martinez asked for prayers from his supporters via his Facebook page.
”Dear friends, again I’m humbly asking for your prayers. It’s my Freeskate event tonight. Thank you in advance for all your support and prayers! I love you all!”
After his performance, the youngest entry was interviewed by several media outlets who were intrigued by the figure skater from a tropical country.
Martinez had to overcome several challenges to compete in the Olympics including bouts with asthma, several knee and ankle injuries, and little support from the government.
Performing in the latter part of the medal round are heavy favorites Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, who set a new world record in the short program with a score of 101.45 and triple world champion Patrick Chan of Canada.