MANILA, Philippines – World champion gymnast Carlos Yulo won’t be competing in his signature floor exercise event anytime soon as he would rather deliver a “surprise” in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Philippine gymnastics chief Cynthia Carrion revealed Yulo’s plans of not competing in the event in the 2020 Baku World Cup this week, just days after her top ward was honored with the President’s Award in the Philippines Sportswriters’ Association’s (PSA) for his stellar achievements in 2019.
“You’re going to be surprised. He’s training on his new skills and he’s going to watch [the World Cup]. We’re working scientifically,” said Carrion, the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP) president.
The 4-foot-9 dynamo left for the World Cup tournament on Monday, March 9, as the competition kicks off on Thursday, March 12.
As Japan has been largely affected by the coronavirus, Carrion assured that Yulo – who is studying and training in Tokyo – is healthy and taking precautionary measures to limit his exposure to the virus.
“He doesn’t go into crowds. He just goes to school and training. He doesn’t go out. He used to go out for dinners but now [he doesn’t anymore]. It’s all training,” shared Carrion.
According to the GAP president, Yulo will only be seeing action in the Baku leg of the World Cup series as he focuses on participating in training camps and national competitions held in Tokyo.
“He was training with the best athletes and he did very well. It’s important that you’re training with the high, top athletes because you want to be like them and that’s a big thing,” added Carrion.
“I’m grateful for [Japan’s gymanstics head] Morinari Watanabe because he approved Caloy to be the only foreigner with his national team and the elite athletes so it’s a big thing.”
Last year, Yulo brought home the country’s first world gymanstics gold in the men’s floor exercise and became the second Filipino to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The 20-year-old star gymnast also emerged as the Philippines’ most bemedalled athlete in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games with 2 golds and 5 silvers. – Rappler.com
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