Top Filipino figure skater Michael Martinez is not giving up on his Winter Olympics bid.
In fact, in his next campaign in the 2017 Nebelhorn Trophy, his goal is not just to land in the top six but finish at the podium.
The 20-year old skater fell short in the just concluded World Figure Skating Championships in Finland as he failed to make it to the top 24 but Martinez remains optimistic that he can achieve the goal in the final Olympic qualifying tournament slated on September 27 to 30 in Germany.
“I want myself not just to land in the Top 6 but finish at podium,” said Martinez in a news conference on Thursday at the Mall of Asia Ice Skating rink in Pasay City.
Martinez garnered a total score of 196.79 in the men’s single category with individual scores of 69.32 in the short program and 127.37 in free skating in Finland.
That score was not enough for Martinez to secure a possible slot in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
“Me and my coach is really pushing hard to improve my game. It will be a new routine [in September]and a new Michael,” he added.
Martinez, the first Southeast Asian skater to compete in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, has more time to train and prepare for the tournament in Germany where the top six skaters will advance to the Winter Games.
He will train in Canada for his choreography and interpretation skills followed by a technical training in Russia.
Before the Nebelhorn Trophy, Martinez will represent the Philippines in the 29th Southeast Asian Games in August where he is the favorite to win the gold medal.
“We are aiming for the gold and I am confident that we can get it,” said Martinez.