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MANILA, Philippines – The World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, where spots in the Paris Olympics are at stake, remains the priority for Carlos Yulo.
Gymnastics Association of the Philippines president Cynthia Carrion said the federation is firm on sending Yulo to the worlds despite pleas from the Philippine Olympic Committee for him to compete in the Asian Games instead.
Yulo will miss the Asiad set to be hosted by Hangzhou, China from September 23 to October 8 as its schedule coincides with the world championships, which will run from October 1 to 8 in Antwerp, Belgium.
The worlds is the only qualifier for Paris this year.
“World championships is more important. We fought for that. We worked for it so we have to go to,” Carrion said on Wednesday, May 31, during the Rhythmic Gymnastics Asian Championships at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
“Asian Games is not an Olympic qualifier.”
POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino wants Yulo in the Asian Games, arguing that the gymnastics star is capable of winning multiple gold medals since most of his continental rivals are in the world championships.
Gold medals also mean millions in cash incentives for Yulo, Tolentino said as the POC included the 23-year-old dynamo to the entry list of athletes it sent to Hangzhou organizers.
But Carrion said she already talked to Tolentino about Yulo prioritizing the worlds.
“It is final,” said Carrion.
Yulo will try to qualify for the world championships as he eyes a top-eight finish in the individual all-around in the Asian Artistic Gymnastics Championships that will be staged in Singapore from June 10 to 18.
Chances are Yulo will get the job done as he dominated the previous Asian championships, bagging silver in the individual all-around and golds in floor exercise, vault, and parallel bars. – Rappler.com