Michael Christian Martinez, the lone Filipino figure skater to compete on Men's Singles in the XXII Olympic Winter Games (Sochi) 2014, advances to the free skate program, keeping hope for the Philippines to grab a medal in the ongoing Olympic competition
The 17-year-old native of Muntinlupa City gained a score of 64.81, landing him in third place overall in the preliminary event.
Belgium's Jorik Hendrickx took the lead with 72.52 followed by Uzbekistan's Misha Ge with 68.07.
Martinez performed to the popular song "Romeo and Juliet" as he made initial impression with media as well as the crowd watching at the Iceberg Skating Palace in Sochi, Russia.
There were 29 other skaters from 21 nations who are competing in the popular skating event.
Martinez is set to compete in the free program on Friday for another hurdle in hope of landing a medal in the competition.
In the free program, he will be free to perform his own style or routine within four minutes and 30 seconds.
As a child, Martinez was asthmatic but managed to pursue his dream of becoming a world-class skater through constant practice, discipline and dedication to his craft.
"I literally grew up in the hospital as I was very sick. I couldn't take up any sport. I tried outdoor sports when I was younger, but I easily got asthma attacks, so I stopped," Martinez recalled.
"I had asthma maintenance medicine when I started skating, since the cold in the rink makes me sick too. But year after year my health keeps improving, so my mother fully supported me to continue skating. She said it's better to spend the money on skating than in the hospital," he added.
At a young age, Martinez has figured in international competitions, landing first in Crystal Skate and Skate Helena, third in US Cup, fourth in Volvo open. He has participated in at least 17 international competitions before qualifying for the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Being the official entry to the Olympic event, Martinez was designated as the flag bearer for the Philippines at the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympic games in Russia.