Two-days short of turning 15, Filipino-American Zhaira Costiniano ruled the 2010 National Figure Skating Championships Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia International Skating Rink in Pasay City. Counting her front running tally of 40.73 points in the short program earlier, Costiniano posted a one-sided 121.27 points. The tilt’s youngest champion, Costiniano standing 5’5” dethroned defending women’s champion and fellow Filipino-American Mericien Venzon. Venzon settled for second place with 103.2 points while still another Filipino-American, Mary Grace Baldo finished third with 93.25.
“I tried my very best and just committed slight mistakes. I’m so happy that I won,” said Costiniano, who was a national juniors’ champion last year, adding, “I think it was my clean jumps and spins that won it for me.”
Costiniano a high school student of the Immaculate Conception represented the country in the World Junior Grand Prix in Turkey early this year.
Philippine Skating Union Chairman Hans Sy and President Pocholo Veguillas awarded the trophies and medals to the winners.
“Our skaters have consistently improved over the past but admittedly we still have a long way to go,” Veguillas said.
Homegrown talent Chelcie Jo Mahinay topped the junior ladies division with 89.61 points, besting debuting Filipino-American Ashley Aquino Brickman, a cousin of President Benigno Aquino 3rd, who settled for second place with 89.30 points.