No vault title repeat for Carlos Yulo in Baku World Cup

Delfin Dioquino

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No vault title repeat for Carlos Yulo in Baku World Cup

AIRBORNE. The Philippine's Carlos Yulo in action during the men's vault final of the 2021 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.

Kim Kyung-Hoon/REUTERS

Carlos Yulo fails to defend his vault crown after a dismal run in the qualification as his back-to-back title bid in parallel bars also looks in jeopardy in the Baku Artistic Gymnastics World Cup Series

MANILA, Philippines – Carlos Yulo has been far from his best as he saw his bid to repeat as men’s vault champion in the Baku, Azerbaijan leg of the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Cup Series crushed.

His parallel bars title defense also in jeopardy, the Filipino star failed to reach the vault final after placing a distant 21st in the qualification on Friday, March 8.

The 2021 world champion in vault and a two-time Asian titlist in the apparatus, Yulo netted just an average of 13.933 points as he finished in the bottom half of the 36-man field.

Yulo tallied 14.166 points in his second vault, but it was not enough to pull his score up after a mere 13.7 points in his first vault.

He failed to advanced in two more events on Friday, landing at 16th in the horizontal bar with 13.566 points and 41st in the pommel horse with 11.566 points.

Only the top eight gymnasts in each apparatus qualified for the final.

But the 24-year-old can redeem himself on Saturday, March 9, when he competes in the final of the floor exercise, where he is the 2019 world champion.

While it was an unfortunate day for Yulo, Emma Malabuyo earned her spot in the women’s floor exercise final after placing sixth in the qualification with 13 points.

Malabuyo qualified alongside China’s Ou Yushan, USA’s Reese Esponda, Japan’s Aiko Sugihara, Algeria’s Kaylia Nemour, Austria’s Charlize Moerz, Panama’s Hillary Heron, and Spain’s Laura Casabuena.

The floor exercise silver medalist in the Cairo, Egypt leg in February, Malabuyo hopes to boost her quest for a Paris Olympics berth with another podium finish.

Malabuyo also secured the first reserve seat in the balance beam final as she wound up ninth in the qualification with 12.933 points, while compatriot Levi Jung-Ruivivar ended up at 21st with 12.1 points.

Jung-Ruivivar sees action in the uneven bar finals on Saturday, March 9, while Malabuyo vies in the floor exercise final on Sunday, March 10. –

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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.