MANILA — Filipina figure skater Diane Gabrielle “Gaby” Panlilio is all set to compete in the Riga Cup, the third leg of the 2017-18 International Skating Union (ISU) Junior Grand Prix, in Latvia.
The Riga Cup, which is held from September 6 to 9 at the Volvo Sports Centre ice rink, is organized by the Latvian Skating Association. Gaby left Manila on September 3.
She was accompanied by her mother, Jennifer, and coach of eight years, Dale Marcus Feliciano.
In an interview on Thursday, Gaby’s father, Edier, said that his 13-year-old daughter is the youngest Filipino and Southeast Asian figure skater to compete in the ISU Junior Grand Prix.
Last June, Gaby won the gold medal in the Advanced Novice category over Malaysian Kyla Ichelle Ernest in the 2017 South East Asian (SEA) Figure Skating Challenge held at the SM Seaside City skating rink in Cebu City.
The tournament in Cebu City was the third leg of the SEA Challenge.
The first leg was held from December 2-4, 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand while the second leg was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from April 13-15, 2017.
Gaby, who admires Russia’s two-time world champion Evgenia Armanovna Medvedeva, won the bronze in Thailand.
The gold medal went to Pantaree Sutcharit while Malaysian Hui Jeen Tan clinched the silver medal.
Panlilio, who is a Grade 9 student from St. Paul’s College in Pasig City, made her international debut in the 2009 Indonesia Open where she won the bronze medal in the pre-juvenile category as well as the best in choreography award.
The 2017-18 ISU Junior Grand Prix offers medals in the men’s singles, ladies’ singles, pair skating and ice dancing; cash prizes and qualifying points.
The first leg was held from August 23-26 in Brisbane, Australia while the second leg was hosted by Salzburg, Austria from August 31 to September 2.
The other legs will be held in Minsk, Belarus (Sept. 20-24), Zagreb, Croatia (Sept. 27-30) and Gdansk, Poland (Oct. 4-7).
The top six skaters from each discipline will advance to the final leg to be held from December 7-10 in Japan.