Martinez recovering from 'on-and-off injuries', says Skating Union
MANILA, Philippines — Michael Martinez is reportedly recovering from "on-and-off injuries" resulting in his withdrawal from his bid for the Nebelhorn Trophy — the final Olympic qualifying event for figure skating.
This was the statement made by the Philippine Skating Union hours after it was announced that Edrian Celestino, along with Sofia Frank, will be the representatives for the Philippines in the upcoming event.
The Philippine Skating Union’s statement on Michael Martinez’ withdrawal from his bid to compete at the Olympic Qualifying tournament Nebelhorn Trophy.— Luisa Morales (@mluisamorales_) August 20, 2021
Martinez is reportedly continuing to recover from his “on and off injuries” | @StarSportsHub @PhilstarNews https://t.co/cbLa9Qiek9 pic.twitter.com/uQRi2HU6mb
Noticeably absent was Martinez, a two-time Winter Olympian.
"We regretfully announce that one of our elite male skaters, Michael Christian Martinez, has decided to withdraw from his bid for the Nebelhorn Trophy, an Olympic qualifying event for figure skating," said PHSU in their statement.
"With Michael continuing to recover from his on-and-off injuries, he, along with his Coach, Nikolai Mozorov, see it fit and more viable to concentrate on his overall healing for the time-being," they added.
It is no secret that Martinez has been training and gearing up for a possible third stint at the Winter Olympics with a comeback bid after missing out on international competitions since the 2018 Winter Games.
Martinez even set up a GoFundMe page to help finance his campaign earlier this year.
Per the PHSU, however, Martinez's camp has decided to "completely dedicate the remainder of the competition season towards longer preparation for future international tournaments".
It remains unclear if Martinez will be fit enough to represent the Philippines in the Beijing Winter Games come 2022 if the country does get a slot in Nebelhorn Trophy.
In figure skating, a country is the one that qualifies and not an individual; so the PHSU may still send Martinez, or any other male skater in place of Celestino if he should qualify for one of the seven slots left in Olympic figure skating in Nebelhorn.
Regardless of what Martinez does in the future, the PHSU says it will remain rallying behind the figure skater.
"The Philippine Skating Union supports his decision and will continue to do so should he decide to join future competitions," said the PHSU.
"The union wishes Michael a speedy recovery and the best for his endeavours," they added.
Apart from Celestino and Frank competing in Nebelhorn Trophy, a third Filipino, Julian Macaraeg, will be vying for a slot in the Winter Olympics as a speed skater.
Macaraeg's bid will begin in the World Cups set October.