Edrian Celestino wins first round of PH Olympic Qualifier Evaluation
6 August 2021
by: Ysabel S. Vitangcol
by: Ysabel S. Vitangcol
With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics commencing, many look forward to the future of our sports and the fate of our very own Filipino athletes for next year’s Winter Olympics.
At the recently concluded PH Olympic Qualifier Evaluation, 23-year-old Edrian Paul Celestino tops the first portion of the assessment, scoring the highest at 139.90.
“If I’m honest, I would say a bit surprised considering the fact I didn’t have as much time for training as I would have wanted [initially],” Celestino tells the PHSU. “It was a challenge. [But] I think I’m pretty pleased. My Coach and I do know the routine that we have established over the course of maybe three years of working together.. So it’s something that we definitely trusted and carried on into the virtual competition.”
Twenty three year-old Celestino, born and raised in Montreal, Canada, bested two other equally competitive elite athletes, former World Championships participant and Sea Games Silver Medallist Christopher Caluza and two-time Winter Olympian Michael Martinez; who finished at 137.39 and 115.32, respectively. (PHSU’s note: the current scores of these skaters does not affect their overall ranking in competitive skating.)
To secure the lone slot for the Nebelhorn Trophy, the reigning Philippine National Champion will need to maintain his standing and skate his best come the second part of the PH Olympic Qualifier Evaluation, the in-person competition, where he, along with Caluza and Martinez, must once again demonstrate their artistry, skills and mastery of the sport.
Celestino admits that the challenge of preparing in the middle of a pandemic was something he had difficulty navigating, considering the initial rink closures and adhering to the health protocols.
“Thankfully, when there was the announcement that we were having this virtual competition, the conditions and circumstances in Canada did make it a bit easier and lenient.. which allowed me to train at least 2-3 hours a day. For the time constraint.. I would suppose it was the three weeks of preparation. It was pretty short.
“The main improvement would be the cardio aspect, to be able to perform the steady amount of energy from beginning to the end - hopefully with a better [energy] output as well as the technical aspect, as to try to increase my scores,” he shares.
Officials from the International Skating Union (ISU), the federation recognized by the International Olympic Committee, served as judges for the virtual competition and will follow the same procedure for the in-person event.
Athletes looking to secure a seat at the Winter Olympics can qualify in two ways: through the World Figure Skating Championships, where the top 23 skaters are chosen; and the Nebelhorn Trophy, the official Olympic Qualifying Event of the ISU where the top 7 skaters qualify to compete at the world’s most prestigious sports tournament.
The Phlippine Skating Union has chosen to provide equal opportunity and process for our skaters who have expressed their interest to compete.