MANILA - Team Philippines took home 103 medals from Skate Asia 2018 held in Bangkok, Thailand.
Some 17 Filipino figure skaters competed in over 100 events from August 5 to 12, 2018.
In total, the Philippines' representatives won 50 gold medals, 43 silver medals, and 10 bronze medals against nearly 1,000 competitors from China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam, among others.
Two young Filipino figure skaters made a clean sweep in all their events during the 8-day competition.
Thirteen-year-old Justine Gabrielle Lim won first place in 7 events, while 16-year-old Karylle Cate Kho came out on top in 5 events.
According to Lim, her interest in figure skating came after watching a Japanese sports anime television series.
"I tried many sports from tennis to badminton to swimming. Then I decided to check out figure skating after I watched the anime called "Yuri on Ice"," Lim said.
"When I started, I was wearing the rental shoes so the lessons were not easy. When I found myself enjoying the sport and wanting to go every day, I asked my parents for my own pair of skates," she added.
For Kho, she tried the sports because of how graceful the skaters looked on ice.
"I have never seen a sport wherein one must have balance, coordination, strength, flexibility, and grace all at the same time," she said. She has been figure skating for 3 years.
The Filipino figure skaters were mentored by Dave Alarcon, Abraham Domdom, Eric Navalta, and Christina Carla Erum.
"I noticed that skaters from other countries really have power but our Filipino skaters are more artistic. If artistic abilities and power will be combined, we will have a stronger team," Navalta said.
"Though the Philippines team had few skaters, they all proved to be quality skaters. For parents who are considering to have their children try figure skating, be very supportive. This is a beautiful sport but a difficult one. It is a combination of strength, power, and grace," Alarcon said.