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MANILA, Philippines – The quest to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics begins for Filipino gymnastics star Carlos Yulo.
Yulo and the national team see action in the Asian Artistic Gymnastics Championships set in Singapore from June 10 to 18, with hopes of punching their tickets to the worlds where Olympic berths are up for grabs.
The World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, which will be held in Antwerp, Belgium from October 1 to 8, is the first and only qualifier for Paris this year.
“All-around is the No. 1 [priority] to qualify for the world championships,” Yulo said in Filipino during an online press conference on Monday, May 22.
Chances are the 23-year-old will reach the worlds championships.
Yulo bagged silver in the individual all-around in the Asian championships last year to advance to the previous global gymnastics showdown, where he clinched a vault silver and a parallel bars bronze.
Also, Yulo is coming off a rousing showing in the Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia, where he captured a third straight individual all-around title and a parallel bars gold.
Yulo, though, clings to the hope that the entire men’s team qualifies for the world championships considering gymnastics powerhouses Japan and China have already secured their Olympic spots.
The men’s squad – composed of Yulo, Juancho Miguel Besana, Ivan Cruz, Justine Ace de Leon, Jan Gwynn Timbang, and Jhon Santillan – won the team all-around bronze in the SEA Games.
“We have a chance,” said Yulo. “It is slim but it is not impossible.”
Competing in the world championships, though, means Yulo will miss the Asian Games, which will run from September 23 to October 8 in Hangzhou, China.
“He is not going to join the Asian Games because he is going to be in Antwerp,” said Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP) president Cynthia Carrion. “He has to be there to qualify for the Olympics.”
Carrion added GAP will also send a women’s squad to be led by SEA Games champion Aleah Finnegan to the Asian championships. – Rappler.com