After bagging a historic gold medal for the Philippines in the 41st FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, Carlos Adriel Yulo said he now yearns to celebrate his victory with his family soon.
The 19-year old Yulo has been training in Japan for over 3 years and the last time he saw his parents was back in January.
"Makasama ko lang po ang family ko, okay na ako dun. Kahit isang araw lang po," Yulo, who topped the floor exercise of the competition, told ABS-CBN's Dyan Castillejo.
Yulo said the last time he saw his family was on Jan. 6 when he went home for Christmas.
He is set to return to Manila on Monday for a courtesy call with President Rodrigo Duterte.
Yulo will be accompanied by Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP) president Cynthia Carrion and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William "Butch" Ramirez to meet Duterte on Wednesday.
Yulo admitted he didn't expect to beat Israel's Artem Dolgopyat, the erstwhile frontrunner with a seemingly untouchable tally of 15.200.
"Hindi ko po talaga in-expect," he told Castillejo.
"Kasi yung nakita ko po 'yung score niya parang okay na lang kahit magkamali pa ko, ganoon po yung naramdaman ko," he admitted.
Performing next to last among the eight finalists, Yulo came through with an awe-inspiring display of grace, artistry and athleticism in securing the gold with an eye-popping score of 15.300 points.
"Kasi maganda ang training ko bago ako nagpunta rito," he said.
Playing a major factor in the victory was the degree of difficulty of Yulo's routine - the highest among the entries at 6.500 to Dolgopyat's 6.400. This proved to be the winning edge.
His mother, Angelica, was elated to hear about her son's victory.
"Sobrang saya at sobrang proud sa naachieve ng anak ko... Isa na rin ito sa mga rewards sa kanya ni Lord," she said.
"Hindi namin ine-expect na mangyayari ito. Palagi lang sinasabi ni Caloy na gagawin niya ang best niya, t'saka laging sinasabi na ita-try ko kasi sobrang galing nga mga kalaban. Walang expectations."
Angelica said Yulo have sacrificed so much, especially when he started training with his Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya.
When Yulo was still in the Philippines, he was training 6 hours a day sometimes until midnight. Then he had to wake up 5 in the morning to prepare to go to school.
Later on, Yulo had to join his coach in Japan for a more intensive training. The boy had been staying in Tokyo for the past 3 years.
"Ibang iba ang buhay niya sa ibang mga bata," said his mom.
"Ang kinalakihan niya gymnastics gym tapos wala na siyang matatawag na time para sa sarili niya kasi after ng schooling niya training, gagawa ng schoool projects niya, tapos tulog. Hindi niya nae-enjoy ang pagiging bata."
"Kaya sinasabi ko na lang sa kanya, para sa kanya na rin ito pagdating ng panahon."
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