Over 40 figure skaters will see action in the 2015 Philippine National Figure Skating Championship that will be held from December 1 and 2 at the new outdoor ice skating rink of the Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
The tournament is divided into seven categories namely senior ladies, junior ladies, junior men and four minor events.
“This is our 15th year hosting the event. We take pride this year because we are getting a lot of support not only from the Philippine Ice Skating Union but also from the international organization and of course being supported and funded by SM,” said CJ Suarez, sports development head of SM Lifestyle and Entertainment Inc. in an interview with The Manila Times.
The tilt is a qualifying event for the certified tournaments of the International Skating Union, the world governing body of the sport, in 2016.
Among the notable participants are last year’s juniors men champion Jules Vince Alpe of Manila Figure Skating Club and 2015 Asian Junior Figure Skating Challenge gold medalist Charmaine Skye Chua of Metro Ice Skating Club.
Among the national champions that the tournament has produced is Michael Martinez.
“We have created several names and Michael Martinez is [one of the]product of the nationals,” said Suarez.
Just last week, Martinez was ranked sixth overall with a score of 220.36 at the 2015 Audi Cup of China in Beijing. Current world champion Javier Fernandez of Spain and three-time world champion Mao Asada of Japan ruled the men and women categories of the tournament, respectively.
Martinez is set to compete in the Warsaw Cup in Poland on November 26 to 29 and the Golden Spin of Zagreb in Croatia on December 2 to 5.
Suarez said that they would have a tough job in the next few years preparing for the 2017 Southeast Asian Games.
“We are going to try and fill the team of skaters for the 2017 SEA Games. The next years will be a lot of work for the federation to really work together, hand-in-hand with the Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Olympic Committee working towards those.”
Admission in the tournament is free. JEAN RUSSEL V. DAVID