Caloy Yulo's coach sets goal: Win 3 golds at Paris 2024 Olympics

Manolo Pedralvez

Posted at Oct 01 2022 06:48 AM | Updated as of Oct 01 2022 10:53 AM

National gymnastics chief Cynthia Carrion said Munehiro Kugimiya is preparing Yulo (pictured) to win the floor exercise, the vault, and the all-around events. EPA-EFE/file
National gymnastics chief Cynthia Carrion said Munehiro Kugimiya is preparing Yulo (pictured) to win the floor exercise, the vault, and the all-around events. EPA-EFE/file

Munehiro Kugimiya, the Japanese mentor of two-time world gymnastics champion Carlos Edriel Yulo, is not one given to hyperbole.

But according to gymnastics chief Cynthia Carrion, Kugimiya recently informed him that the pint-sized gymnastics phenom has set his sights at winning three golds in the event he qualifies for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

"Coach Mune (Kugimiya's nickname) told me that he is priming Caloy (Yulo's nickname) to win the golds in the floor exercise, vault, and all-around in the Paris Olympics," said Carrion Friday during the launch of the Legends Performance Camp at the MVPSF National Training Center in Intramuros, Manila.

The three-day camp on women's artistic gymnastics features top caliber foreign coaches, including American 2004 Athens Olympics double silver medalist Terin Humphrey.

The project is a partnership between Gymnastics Association of the Philippines headed by Carrion and the Flip it Forward group led by national women's gymnasts Chiara Mijares and Ian Sy.

Carrion said that Kugimiya was bullish about the Tokyo-based Yulo's Olympic gold prospects following his string of fine performances, including ruling the men's floor exercise event in the recent All-Japan Senior championships with a score of 15.066 points.

"Coach Mune said that if Caloy performs the way he did in the last All-Japan seniors, he will surely win Olympic gold," Carrion added of the GAP protege, who began his career at the old GAP training center inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex when he was eight years old.

Yulo scored 83.767 points in placing a close second in the men's all-around event behind China's Shi Cong, who bagged the gold with 83.833 points, in the last Asian meet in Doha, Qatar.

Although he missed retaining the men's floor exercise gold he won in the 39th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany in 2019, the Filipino gymnast made up for it bagging the vault gold and silver parallel bars in the latest edition of the competition held in Kitakyushu, Japan last year.

Yulo, who was the country's most bemedalled athlete in the 31st Vietnam Southeast Asian Games with five gold and two silver medals, will cap his season by competing in the world championships scheduled Oct. 29 to Nov. 6 in Liverpool, England, according to Carrion.

She said that GAP's prized ward had more than enough time to recover from the hand injury he suffered in the last Japan meet after slipping from the horizontal bar apparatus.

"Coach Mune assured me that the hand injury was minor and he would be ready for the world championships in Liverpool, England late this month," she said with relief.