Carlos Yulo has renewed his quest to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after springing into action on Monday in the men's all-around preliminaries of the 49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships at the impressive Hanns Martin Schleyer Halle in Stuttgart, Germany.
Yulo arrived in the German city early last week from Tokyo, together with his Japanese coach, Munehiro Kugimiya, to adjust to the cool weather.
The 19-year-old is slated to perform at 4:30 p.m. (10:30 p.m. Manila time), opening his bid with the horizontal bar among the six apparatus in the men's event.
This will be followed by his forte, the floor exercise, then the pommel horse, rings, vault, respectively, before capping his day with a stint on the parallel bars in the trip supported by the Philippine Sports Commission.
Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP) president Cynthia Carrion, who arrived in Germany last Saturday, was guardedly optimistic that Yulo, a GAP protégé since he was seven years old, would perform well here and emerge as the country's second Olympic qualifier after pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena.
"Caloy (Yulo's nickname) has undergone extensive training in Japan for over two years now under coach Mune and has had a lot of international exposure before going to the worlds," said Carrion.
"So we are praying very hard that he will do well here and qualify for the Olympics," she added.
The 4-foot-11 dynamo has already shown that he can shine on the world stage, bagging a gold medal in the floor exercise in the opening leg of the FIG Apparatus World Cup last February in Melbourne, Australia.
Competing against the elite of men's gymnastics, Yulo copped a bronze medal in the same event in the next stop of the World Cup in Doha, Qatar a month later.
He became the first Filipino gymnast to win a gold medal in the vault event of the prestigious International Junior Gymnastics Championship in Yokohama, Japan in September 2017.
Despite performing with an injury, Yulo displayed a lot of fighting spirit in clinching the gold medal in the parallel bars of the 14th Junior Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Bangkok, Thailand held in May of the same year.
Both Yulo and Kugimiya declined to be interviewed during their training session last Sunday, preferring to focus on the task at hand, according to Carrion.
"Both of them want to focus first on Caloy's performance on Monday, but the coach will be available for an interview after our gymnast performs," she said.
The top 12 finishers in the all-around men's event will book their spots to the Tokyo Games, while the gold, silver and bronze medalists in each of the individual apparatus will also make it to the quadrennial sports showcase.
Should Yulo flourish, he will see action in the men's all-around finals on Friday and the apparatus finals scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.
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