Philippine figure skaters Alisson Perticheto, Christopher Caluza, and Edrian Paul Celestino produced encouraging results in the short program of the ice skating competition in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games Friday at the SM Megamall Ice Skating Rink.
Perticheto topped the women's division, while Christopher Caluza and Edrian Paul Celestino finished in second and third place, respectively, in the men's division, putting them in good position for podium finishes.
Perticheto, 2017 SEA Games' bronze medalist, dominated with a score of 53.65. She edged out previous silver medalist Chloe Ing of Singapore who earned a score of 50.67. Indonesia's Savika Sahira (32.62) completed the top three.
"I'm very happy that I landed all my jumps and I skated very well. I was very thrilled to skate here in the Philippines with the crowd cheering on me and on us," said Perticheto.
Filipina Cirinia Gillett, on the other hand, finished last out of nine women skaters with a score of 20.93.
In the men's division, Malaysia's Julian Zhi Jee Yee, former gold medalist, reigned supreme with a score of 63.35. Filipinos Caluza (62.37) and Celestino (61.52) impressed in their SEA Games debut as they rounded out the top three.
"It's a good boost that we finished really well for the short program. All we can do is do our best for the [free skating] program, and hopefully, we get good marks and also have a good audience watching us," said Caluza. "It would be awesome because today's audience was amazing and I hope there could be more of them coming."
Notably missing from the tournament is Olympian Michael Martinez, last SEA Games' silver medalist. According to Philippine Skating Union president Josie Veguillas, Martinez did not try out for this edition of the biennial meet.
"He wanted to rest, that's what he told us," said Veguillas. "We invited him to try out for the nationals because that's the qualification. These two (Caluza and Celestino) tried out. We just have to be fair."
The free skating program will be held Sunday, December 1. The scores of the two segments will be added to determine the podium finishers.