MANILA, Philippines – After his remarkable debut in the Sochi Winter Games, Filipino figure skater Michael Christian Martinez will target at least a bronze medal in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, according to his mother, Teresa.
Martinez drew worldwide attention when he made history as the first figure skater from Southeast Asia to compete in the event in the Winter Olympics this February in Sochi. He finished in 19th place in a field of 30.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday during a press conference at the SM Mall of Asia Ice Skating Rink, Teresa Martinez said her son was not at all going for a medal in the Sochi Games.
“Definitely not. Hindi mangyayari ‘yun,” Teresa said when asked if Martinez targeted first place. “Ang target lang naman niya is to qualify to the medal round, and he was able to do that. He ended up 19th.”
But a podium finish is possible in the 2018 Winter Games, she said.
“2018, probably yes. Realistically, at least bronze sana,” Teresa said, adding that Martinez’s performance will still depend on the financial support they will get.
Teresa also acknowledged that her son could have placed higher than 19th. Martinez finished with a total of 184.25 points from the short and free programs, but has breached the 200-point mark in past competitions.
“Actually kaya sana niya mas mataas, because his scores are really higher,” said Teresa. “Kaya lang, that night kasi kulang ang tulog niya.”
Martinez later revealed in an interview with ABS-CBN News that he was tapped for random drug testing the night before the free skate competition, leading to a lack of sleep.
Japan's Hanyu Yuzuru won gold with a total score of 280.09, while Martinez's idol, Patrick Chan of Canada, settled for silver with a score of 275.62. Kazakhstan's Denis Ten nabbed the bronze, with 255.10.