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Olympic slot in Martinez’ sights

MANILA, Philippines — Michael Martinez will bid to qualify for his second Olympic stint at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany, on Sept. 27-30 with only six tickets available of 30 slots in the men’s singles figure skating event at the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, next year.

Martinez, 20, qualified for his first Olympics by finishing seventh at Nebelhorn in 2013. The top four Nebelhorn finishers had previously qualified for the Sochi Games so the next six clinched the remaining spots with Martinez taking the third ticket of six. His route to Pyeongchang will go through Nebelhorn once more as he failed to make the cut-off at the World Championships in Helsinki last April. The first 20 skaters in Helsinki qualified for Pyeongchang with Martinez out of the circle at No. 24.

Michael Martinez. Philippine Star.
Now training in Lake Forest, California, Martinez said he’s ready to qualify all over again. He plans to leave for Oberstdorf on Sept. 23 with Ukrainian coach Slava Zahordnyuk to acclimatize to conditions early before plunging into competition.  Martinez will use the new music he performed for the first time when he took the silver medal at the recent SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur. Choreographer Phillip Mills arranged the routine to the music of “O Futura” from German composer Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” in the short program and a blend of electric violinist Vanessa Mae’s “Tango de los Exilados” and “El Tango de Roxanne” from “Moulin Rouge” in freeskate.

“I’m confident of qualifying,” said Martinez during a brief visit to Manila after the SEA Games. “I’ve worked hard on my new program which I think is amazing. I’ve reduced my weight by 20 pounds so I’m able to execute my jumps and spins with less weight to carry. I’ve been very disciplined in what I eat. For breakfast, I take egg white for pure protein. For lunch, I take a small meal and for dinner, I take steak with very little salt. I run, do sauna and cardio exercises. I’m in the best shape of my life.”

Martinez said his back injury isn’t completely healed but the pain is more than tolerable. “I’ll need surgery to address the pain in between the L4 and L5, the two lowest vertebrae in the lumbar spine, but the recovery will take a year and a half so I’ve decided to just do therapy for the moment. It means a lot of icing and stretching before and after performing. Right now, my body is holding up. I won’t let the chance of competing in my second Olympics go by.”

Author: Joaquin Henson, Philippine Star
Full Article: http://www.philstar.com/sports/2017/09/18/1740213/olympic-slot-martinez-sights

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