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Martinez makes LA stop to sharpen skills

Figure skater Michael Martinez left for Los Angeles, California yesterday to fine-tune himself before taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, which officially starts on Friday.

One of the country’s two representatives in the Games, Martinez, 19, still has one week left before he sees action in the men’s singles skating.

The men’s short program is scheduled on Feb. 16 at 10 a.m. (9 a.m. in Manila), followed by the men’s free skate on Feb. 17 at the same time.

All figure skating events will be held at the Gangneung Ice Arena.

Though he secured his slot only after a Swede participant declined to take up the quota slot, Martinez nonetheless declared his readiness, saying he did not stop training as he wants to improve on his timing and be more sharp without losing his grace.

Under the guidance of Ukrainian coach Vyachelsav Zagorodnuyk, Martinez is trying to add more zest on his split spins and humps.

Martinez hopes to surpass his 19th place finish in the 2014 Sochi meet.

The Muntinlupa-born athlete believes he has gained maturity over the past years as underscored by his daring routines.

He finished ninth in last year’s Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan and he believes that bodes well to his campaign this time.

Martinez is expected to perform to the tune of ‘Emerald Tiger’ by Vanessa Mae on his short program while he has yet to decide which to use as a background in the free skate.