TWO-TIME Winter Olympian Michael Martinez, reportedly recovering from “on-and-off injuries”, has been ruled out from the Nebelhorn Trophy — the final Olympic figure skating qualifying event.
Martinez’s withdrawal was announced by the Philippine Skating Union on Friday after the federation earlier announced that Edrian Celestino, along with Sofia Frank, will be the country’s representatives for the Beijing Winter Games qualifiers.
“We regretfully announce that one of our elite male skaters, Michael Christian Martinez, has decided to withdraw from his bid for the Nebelhorn Trophy, an Olympic qualifying event for figure skating,” said PHSU in their statement.
“With Michael continuing to recover from his on-and-off injuries, he, along with his Coach, Nikolai Mozorov, see it fit and more viable to concentrate on his overall healing for the time-being,” they added.
Vying for a third straight Olympics, Martinez has been training and making a comeback bid after missing out on international competitions since the 2018 PyeongChang Games.
The PHSU, however, said that Martinez’s camp has decided to completely dedicate the remainder of the competition season towards longer preparation for future international meets.
“The Philippine Skating Union supports his decision and will continue to do so should he decide to join future competitions,” said the PHSU.
“The union wishes Michael a speedy recovery and the best for his endeavours,” they added.
There will be three Filipinos who will vie for spots in next year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Aside from figure skaters Sofia Frank and Edrian Celestino will compete in the Nebelhorn Trophy slated on September 22–25, 2021 in Oberstdorf, Germany, speed skater Julian Macaraeg, will strut his wares in the World Cup series from October to November.
These competitions will serve as qualifying tournaments for the 2022 Winter Olympics to be held in February.