Top Filipino skater Michael Martinez along with 2014 Southeast Asian Trophy junior silver medallist Jules Alpe, Shayanne Casapao and Samantha Cabiles will lead the 29-man Philippine team to the 2017 Asian Winter Games (AWG) slated on February 19 to 26 in Sapporo, Japan.
The 20-year old Martinez is all set to showcase his new set of routines when the quadrennial meet rolls off next week.
“I feel like everyone will be surprised even me,” said the 2015 Asian Trophy champion in an interview with The Manila Times on Saturday.
Martinez said his training has been good after switching to a new pair of skate shoes.
“I’ve been having trouble with my old skates when I started the season. So now, since I just started switching to a new skates and it’s been only a month, now I have been skating really great,” added Martinez.
Martinez trains daily from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on top of his two-hour conditioning workout in the gym. He’s also into mountain hiking to improve his stamina and leg power.
“Been back and front on being injured because of my old skates but now we really focused hard this whole a month and a half on regaining my jumps,” he added.
Martinez will be competing in the short and long skating programs.
The Philippines will be also sending athletes to compete in other events besides figure skating; they are Ryan Espiritu (snow boarding), Kathryn Magno (speed skating) and the 23-man national ice hockey team.
Chef de Mission Tom Carrasco said that this year’s delegation is the biggest the Philippines has sent so far to the AWG.