Three Filipinos to vie for 2022 Winter Olympics berths

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 20) – Three Filipinos will vie for a chance to play in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.

The Philippine Skating Union (PHSU) announced on Friday that figure skaters Edrian Celestino and Sofia Frank will compete in the 2021 Nebelhorn Trophy on Sept. 22-25 at Oberstdorf, Germany. Only the top seven figure skaters for each gender will advance to the Winter Olympics.

The 15-year-old Frank, born in Los Angeles, California, was recently introduced by PHSU as the newest part of the national team.

Celestino topped the recent Olympic qualifier evaluation by the PHSU after winning all two rounds of the assessment.

The 23-year-old figure skater bested two other prominent Filipino figure skaters in the evaluation's first round, where International Skating Union judges evaluated their pre-recorded routines. 

The Canada-born Celestino also clinched the top spot in the Olympic qualifier evaluation's second round, where the figure skaters are required to join a physical tournament, by bagging the Quebec Summer Championships title

Christopher Caluza finished in second place in the PHSU Winter Olympic qualifier evaluation, after the same ranking in the first round and landing a Top 10 finish in the Cranberry Cup International over the weekend.

Two-time Winter Olympian Michael Martinez missed the cut after he announced his withdrawal to play in the Nebelhorn Trophy to recover from his "on-and-off" injuries.

"Michael will also focus on adjusting to his programs, as well as adapting to new techniques to improve his skating while training in Moscow, Russia," the PHSU said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the PHSU also announced that speed skater Julian Macaraeg will contend for a Winter Olympic berth in the Speed Skating World Cup series from October to November.

The New York-based Macaraeg recorded a quarterfinal finish in the boys' 500-meter event and a semifinal finish in the mixed-National Olympic Committee team relay event in his historic Winter Youth Olympics stint in January 2020.

Macaraeg, a student at University of California, Los Angeles, also represented the country in the 2021 World Short Track Speed Skating Championships.

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics is on February 4 to 20.