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Martinez in Finland finals

Filipino pride Michael Christian Martinez danced his way to the free skate finals of the 2017 International Skating Union (ISU) World Figure Skating Championships yesterday in Helsinki, Finland.

Martinez’s feat proved to be dramatic as his performance and score of 69.32 was enough to land him a slot in the 24-man finals set Saturday at the Hartwall Arena.

The top skater turned out to be two-time titleholder Javier Fernandez of Spain, who garnered 109.05 in the men’s short program.

Martinez, 20, is just one of four Asian bets in the finals as entries from Japan, China and Malaysia also succeeded in advancing.

Before he flew to Helsinki a few days ago, Martinez told ABS-CBN that his target is to break into the world’s top ten.

“I’m really excited to compete for the next world championships also because it’s the next qualifying event for the (2018) Olympics,” said Martinez, whose first Olympic stint was in Sochi, Russia, four years ago.

But with his 24th placing, Martinez this earned a ticket to the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.