Gymnastics

Carlos Yulo zeroes in on pet events in Olympic medal bid

Delfin Dioquino

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Carlos Yulo zeroes in on pet events in Olympic medal bid

BALANCE. The Philippines' Carlos Edriel Yulo in action during the men's floor exercise final in the 2023 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.

Yves Herman/REUTERS

Gymnastics star Carlos Yulo goes for a more strategic Olympic buildup as he ramps up his Paris Games preparation by joining a string of international competitions in the coming months

MANILA, Philippines – In order to win an Olympic medal, Filipino gymnast Carlos Yulo knows he has to play to his strengths.

Putting more thought into his pet events, Yulo ramps up his preparation for the Paris Games this year by joining a string of international competitions in the coming months.

“I’m paying attention to the all-around but I’m focused on my three best apparatuses, which are parallel bars, floor exercise, and vault,” Yulo told Power and Play with Noli Eala in a mix of Filipino and English.

Yulo won all six of his world championship medals from those three events.

The pint-sized dynamo captured gold (2019) and bronze (2018) in floor exercise, gold (2021) and silver (2022) in vault, and silver (2021) and bronze (2022) in parallel bars in the global gymnastics showdown.

He is also the reigning titleholder in those three apparatuses in the Asian Artistic Gymnastics Championships.

“I have a really strong chance of winning a medal in floor and vault. Those are the two events that I dedicate my time to. Every day, I plan what I’m going to do in floor and vault,” Yulo said.

Despite his success in the international scene, the end of last year proved to be a rough patch as he struggled in the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships held in Antwerp, Belgium from September to October.

Although Yulo ultimately qualified for Paris, his medal streak in the world championships got busted after reaching only the floor exercise final, where he finished fourth.

That ill-fated world championship run came months after Yulo parted ways with longtime Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya, a split that also put a spotlight on his personal life involving his family and romantic relationship.

Yulo, though, is simply taking the good with the bad.

“I matured from the challenges that I faced. I accepted all of my mistakes. I’m super happy now because of the people who truly support me,” he said.

Yulo will see action in a pair of FIG World Cup Series tiffs in Baku, Azerbaijan in March and in Doha, Qatar in April before he competes in the Asian championships in Hong Kong in May.

Currently training in the Philippines under Filipino mentor Aldrin Castaneda, Yulo is set for a series of overseas camps in South Korea, United Kingdom, Australia, and Paris.

“I want my body to get used to different environments and time zones,” said Yulo. “I want to learn their styles and add them to my own.” – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.