PH Ice Prince Michael Martinez wins Slovenia's Triglav Trophy

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

UPDATED: April 7, 2014

GLENDALE, Calif – Asia’s golden boy of skating Michael Christian Martin got back on the competition ice this weekend and is coming home with the gold.

After a last minute decision, Martinez not only competed in the Triglav Trophy in Slovenia over the weekend, he bested six other skaters in the annual competition.

“Pabalik ko sa competition, sobrang saya na nalo ako,” Martinez said.

Martinez scored 63.29 in Friday’s short program and returned for Sunday’s free skate with a dominating score of 131.84. His total score of 195.15 was five points higher than second place finisher Kenji Tanaka of Japan.

“Na expect ko na mag medal pero hindi ko na expect naging champion dahil nga despite sa mga injuries ko at tsaka galing yung mga kalaban,” the 17-year-old said.

The Philippines’ Ice Prince and his coach spoke to us on Skype shortly after his triumph in Slovenia. Despite getting gold, Martinez, the youngest senior male in the competition was not at 100 percent. His pre-existing injuries that slowed down his practice sessions after the Olympics nearly forced him out of the competition.

“Michael is still not in his best,” Martinez’ Anaheim-based coach Ted Domingo explained. “Wala pa siya sa 100 percent niya so he could’ve scored higher. We were trying, pero kasi with the injuries nakuha niya kaya ice time. Like meron ice time for example; meron ice time Thursday tapos ma-compete siya Friday bali the day of the competition dapat usually may ice time sa umaga before the competition. Walang practice.”

As he savors the victory, Martinez is considering entering another competition next month.

“Baka punta ako sa Dubai para mag-compete doon. It’s going to be May 2 to 7,” he said.

Two other Filipinos competed this weekend at the Triglav Trophy.

Filipino-Norwegian Camilla Gjersem placed 7th overall in the senior ladies division, while Philippine representative Samantha Cabiles came in 6th among junior ladies.

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