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Michael Martinez Pinoy Skaters, aim high at 2017 Asian Winter Games

By Brian Yalung

TEAM PHILIPPINES. From left to right, Shayanne Casapao, Samantha Cabiles, Jules Alpe and Michael Martinez. (photo courtesy of Francis Casapao)

TEAM PHILIPPINES. From left to right, Shayanne Casapao, Samantha Cabiles, Jules Alpe and Michael Martinez. (photo courtesy of Francis Casapao)

Filipino figure skater Michael Christian Martinez leads team Philippines set to compete at the 2017 Asian Winter games in Sapporo, Japan. The Figure Skating event starts Feb. 23, 2017.

Joining the 20-year-old Martinez are Shayanne Casapao and Samantha Cabiles for the ladies division while Jules Alpe will be the other representative for the for the men’s class. Casapao and Cabiles were Podium finishers at the 2015 national figure skating challenge and became their ticket to the upcoming Winter games.

Alpe got his slot after being elevated to the seniors this year, bared Metro Ice Skating Club president Smith Chua.

Michael Martinez is coming off a sting in Gangneung, South Korea. He became the highest-ranked Southeast Asian skater after finishing 14th in the men’s singles category of the ISU Four Continent Championships.

The eighth Asian Winter Games officially opened at the Sapporo Dome in Japan last Sunday, Feb. 19. The Filipino skaters are hoping to earn a spot for the 2018 Winter Olympics to be held in Korea.

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