MICHAEL Martinez will have to compete in Germany for a spot in the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics after falling just short in the 2017 World Figure Skating Championships in Helsinki.
The 20-year-old Martinez garnered a score of 196.79 in the finals of the men’s singles event on Saturday, putting him in 24th place and supposedly good for the last spot for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
But the Olympic spots are actually going to other countries who had multiple top performers, as provided in the qualifying rules.
“Yes, Martinez finished at the top 24 at Worlds but with other countries earning multiple spots, the 24 spots were quickly filled,” the Philippine Skating Union (PSU) said on Sunday via Twitter.
A rule in the international competition states that if a country has two of its athletes finish in the top 13 of a category, a third athlete can be added to its Olympic team.
For the men’s singles, powerhouses Japan (1st, and 2nd), Canada (5th and 9th), the United States (6th and 7th) and Russia (8th and 11th), can each add another skater to their contingents bound for Pyeongchang, knocking Martinez out of the final 24.
Martinez now trains his sights on the next qualifying event in September, the Nebelhorn Trophy Germany. Six spots will be awarded in singles skating.
It was in the 2013 edition of the event where Martinez qualified in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, the first skater from Southeast Asia to achieve such a feat.