Carlos Yulo was elated to make the top 10 in the men’s all-around finals of the 49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany on Friday.
Relieved of the pressure of needing to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, a more relaxed Yulo displayed poise in scoring a personal best of 84.048 points over the 6 apparatuses.
“First time ko pong makaiskor ng 84-plus kaya talagang mataas po iyon. Talagang masaya ko dahil duon,” Yulo, 19, said.
“Di po katulad last Monday na kabado po ako. Sabi ni coach Mune (Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya) huwag ako matakot magkamali and enjoy. Pero nag-ingat din po ako na di malaglag.”
Last Monday, he finished 18th in the all-around qualifiers with 82.164 points and secured himself a slot in Tokyo.
It was also a dramatic rise in the event for Yulo, whose stint here is funded by the Philippine Sports Commission, after merely finishing 23rd out of 24 finalists with a score of 77.464 points last year.
“The performance of Caloy (Yulo’s nickname) is really outstanding considering that those in the top 10 are Russians, Chinese, Japanese and Americans, who are the best in gymnastics,” said Cynthia Carrion, president of the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines, the sport’s national governing body.
“With this kind of performance, I believe he will be able to win a medal in the floor exercise on Saturday.”
As expected, the Pinoy campaigner played to his strengths, scoring high in his forte, the floor exercise (14.633), vault (14.600), and, surprisingly, the parallel bars where he posted his best of 14.833 points. His lowest score was on the pommel horse (12.816) while he had 13.500 in the horizontal bar.
His tally might have been higher if not for the .01 penalty he incurred on the floor and vault, respectively, for slightly moving out of legal landing area.
“’Yon talaga ang dapat kong mag-improve ’yong landing,” said Yulo.
“Kaya po natin ’yon (maka-gold),” he replied confidently of his intent in his pet event that would guarantee him another platform to display his skills and talent in the quadrennial meet in Tokyo next year.
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