Speed skater Macaraeg places last in world championships

Published March 6, 2021, 2:46 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Photo from  Philippine Skating Union’s Facebook page

Filipino speed skater Julian Macaraeg settled for last-place finishes in three events of the 2021 World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Dordrecht, Netherlands Friday.

Macaraeg pulled off a good start in the preliminary heat of the 500meter event, leading the first lap and placing second in the following.

But things got rough in the third after slipping up and eventually ended up last from fourth to fifth laps at 55.305 seconds.

In the 1000-meter event, Macaraeg stayed put at fourth until the eighth lap, but Valentino Pintar Senica of Slovenia stormed past the Filipino bet in the final lap for another last-place finish at one minute and 49.054 seconds.

Itzhak de Laat of Netherlands (41.125), Vladislav Bykanov of Israel (41.383) and Adrian Luedtke of Germany (41.475) qualified to the next round of the 500m event, while Stijn Desmet of Belgium (1:306:608) and Yuri Confortola of Italy (1:30:838) also advanced in the 1000m event.

The 17-year-old Macaraeg also finished last in the 1,500m event after clocking in two minutes and 24.939 seconds, only two seconds short from eventual top three qualifiers de Laat (2:22:087), Sjinkie Knegt of Netherlands (2:22:350) and Reinis Berzins of Latvia (2:22.510).

Photo from POC

“He put in a good fight, keeping a close distance with [world-renowned] athletes, despite his young age,” wrote the Philippine Skating Union on its Facebook page Saturday, March 6.

Macaraeg, the lone Filipino and one of only two athletes from tropical countries in the field alongside India’s Akash Aradhya, is set to compete anew in heats for the final standings.

Macaraeg, who is based in New York, is also the first Filipino short track speed skater to compete in the 2020 Lausanne Winter Youth Olympics.