National champ Edrian Celestino tops PH Winter Olympics qualifier evaluation Round 1

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 6) – Reigning national champion Edrian Paul Celestino bested two other figure skaters in the first round of the Philippine Skating Union's (PHSU) virtual 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics qualifier evaluation on Friday.

The 23-year-old Celestino scored a total of 139.90 points, over two points ahead of 2019 Southeast Asian Games silver medalist Christopher Caluza, who got 137.39 points.

Two-time Winter Olympian Michael Martinez is the third competitor who received 115.32 points.

The Montreal, Canada-born Celestino topped the short program with 51.72 points and notched 88.18 points in the free skate category.

Caluza registered 47.32 points in the short program, but he got the highest score among the three in the free skate with 90.07 points.

Martinez had 40.99 points in the short program and 74.33 points in the free skate event.

Celestino expressed his satisfaction on winning the first round of the virtual Winter Olympic qualifier evaluation, saying his two weeks of training paid off.

"Carrying into the next competition, (I want to) maintain some consistency and discipline. We want to upgrade the technical aspect to my programs to further improve my scores as much as possible," Celestino said in a pre-recorded message after the competition.

Celestino, Caluza, and Martinez submitted unedited videos of their short and free-skate routines for the first round of the competition.

Their performances were virtually evaluated by international judges using the point-based system of the International Skating Union (ISU).

The scores of the three skaters will be carried on to the second round of the Winter Olympics qualifier evaluation, an in-person event where they will compete in one international event each.

The date of the qualifier's second round has yet to be announced.

The winner of the PHSU Olympic qualifier evaluation will be the country's representative in the 2021 Nebelhorn Trophy, where the top seven skaters will book a spot in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

The ISU-sanctioned Olympic qualifier event is set on Sept. 22-25 in Oberstdorf, Germany.

Martinez previously represented the Philippines in the figure skating competition of the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics. He was the first Southeast Asian to compete in the event.

So far, the Philippines has an assured spot in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics after the International Ski Federation gave the country one quota slot in the men's alpine skiing event in a list released last February 8.