MANILA — Cynthia Carrion, the Philippines' chef de mission to the 2017 Southeast Asian Games (SEAG), is batting for lowering the age bracket so that one of the country's most decorated gymnasts can compete.
Carrion, also the gymnastics federation president, said Carlos Edriel Yulo, one of the country’s top prospects for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, can win 6 medals in the SEA Games.
However, he is 2 years off the age limit for SEA Games athletes.
“He's only 16 but he will be 17 for the Southeast Asian Games and they want only 18 years old. He's just lacking one year,” Carrion, the president of the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines, said at the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) forum.
In 2016, Yulo won a total of 9 medals from 2 major gymnastics events in the US and Russia.
He debuted in impressive fashion in the tough 2016 Pacific Rim Gymnastic Championships in the US by grabbing 5 medals against a competitive boys’ division that included powerhouse Japan. Yulo also captured 4 medals in the Mikhail Voronin Cup in Russia.
“He competed in the world championships (Pacific Rim Gymnastic Championships), the world is everything including China, Japan, the best countries,” said Carrion. “And what did he do? He did 3rd place.”
“We brought him to Russia,” she added. “He also did the same thing, 3rd place.”
This is why they are appealing to the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), the governing body of sports in Asia, to lower the age limit for the coming SEAG in Malaysia.
“The OCA will decide. And we're asking (to widen the age bracket) and Malaysia is (siding) with me,” said Carrion.
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