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Philippines hopes to send 8 figure skaters to AWG

Date : 01 Apr 2010

Almaty, Kazakhstan: It has been said that, in the sun-drenched Philippines, the only experience the Filipinos have of cold temperatures is when they open the refrigerator. But while the natural beauty of the Philippines is world-famous, it’s not widely known in the international sports world for skating; figure skating to be more precise.

The National Olympic Committee of the Philippines is hoping to enter as many as eight figure skaters in the 7th Asian Winter Games 2011 in Kazakhstan, according to Ric Camaligan, President of the Philippine Skating Union.

“We will bring maybe eight athletes, all in figure skating – three male, three female and one pair,” he said, on the sidelines of the Chefs de Mission Seminar, which ran from March 29-31. “We entered the 6th Asian Winter Games in Changchun, China, in 2007, but our results were not good. Hopefully this time we will be in the top five.”

The local skaters train in Manila at the Mall of Asia in Pasay City, but others study in the United States.

“We will have the national championships in November and take the top three males and top three females from there. We are expecting around 30 entries, including the skaters from America. We have eight in California, one in Michigan and one in New York, all Fil-Ams,” he added, referring to their status as Filipino-Americans.

The Philippines entered five figure skaters at the 2007 Asian Winter Games, and is still looking for a breakthrough at this high level despite success in recreational events.

When asked if there was a budding Kim Yu-Na in the Philippines, Camaligan replied: “Maybe not this year yet – maybe in four years!”

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