PH gymnastics declines flag-bearer offer for Carlos Yulo
MANILA, Philippines — Cynthia Carrion, president of the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines, said they declined the Philippine Olympic Committee’s offer for Carlos Yulo to be the country’s flag-bearer in the Tokyo Olympics.
The decision was to allow Yulo to have his much-needed rest on the eve of his competition where the world champion gymnast is considered a strong bet to win at least two medals in artistic gymnastics events.
“They asked him and I said no. He has a competition the following day and he needs to rest. You know how heavy the flags are,” Carrion said Tuesday during the PSA Forum.
The opening ceremony of the much-delayed Games is on July 23, a day before Yulo plunges into action at Ariake Gymnastics Centre.
Yulo, along with Rio weightlifting silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz and reigning US Women’s Open champion Yuka Saso, is expected to deliver the Philippines’ first-ever Olympic gold medal as he competes in his pet event, the floor exercise.
The 21-year-old Yulo captured the gold in floor exercise in the 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, becoming the first Southeast Asian to pull off the feat.
“Caloy also wants to get to the finals of the parallel bars. The pummel and rings are the only ones he’s not doing well at,” said Carrion.
Yulo, who has also been studying in Japan for the past four years, recently won a bronze medal in the parallel bars event in the 2021All-Japan Apparatus Championships.
“He looks perfect,” said Carrion.