Golden hope fades: Yulo bombs out in preliminaries of pet event | Inquirer Sports

Golden hope fades: Yulo bombs out in preliminaries of pet event

By: - Sports Editor / @ftjochoaINQ
/ 05:35 AM July 25, 2021

Carlos Yulo during the men's all around gymnastics qualification

Carlos Yulo during the men’s all around gymnastics qualification. INQUIRER PHOTO/FRANCIS OCHOA

TOKYO—Carlos Yulo repeated it thrice.

“Masakit po eh. Masakit. Masakit po sya (It hurts. It hurts. [The loss] hurts),” he said Saturday night at Ariake Gymnastics Center.

The country’s golden dream took a major hit late Saturday night in the Tokyo Olympics here and Yulo could not find the words to explain what had happened after crashing out in the preliminaries of the floor exercise of the gymnastics competition. “It’s hard to explain what happened,” he continued in Filipino, managing a wide smile that was in contrast to the dejected figure he cut immediately after his performance. “I guess we just have to accept it. We can’t change it anymore.”

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Yulo fumbled a landing early in his routine, a landing he had executed perfectly a lot of times during practice, according to gymnastics chief Cynthia Carrion, and wound up scoring low on execution to finish with 13.566 points.

Yulo, the reigning world champion in floor exercise, finished 44th out of 64 entries in the event.

“I don’t know what happened,” he said. “I came here really prepared. It just wasn’t good enough.”

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Yulo made it to the vault finals, however, placing sixth in the preliminaries with 14.712.

Yulo’s loss in his pet event sucked the air out of a campaign that started out on a bright note, with Nesthy Petecio kicking off the vaunted boxing team’s bid here with a unanimous decision victory over Congo’s Marcelat Sakobi Matshu at Kokugikan Stadium.

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Petecio scored a unanimous decision victory over the Congolese where she looked to be in complete command.

But Philippine boxing coach Don Abnett believes there is more in Petecio’s tank.

“It was a scrappy performance,” said Abnett, who felt Petecio “Left some of her boxing skills in the dressing room.”

But Abnett was merely setting high standards for a boxing squad tasked to bring home the country’s first Olympic gold medal. Petecio looked dominant against her Congolese foe.

“But it’s better to win a scrappy fight than to lose a scrappy fight,” he said.

And it was infinitely better than getting knocked out of contention.

Kurt Barbosa was the first Filipino athlete to end his stint here after getting a whipping from Korean top seed and reigning world champion Jang Jun in the men’s -58 kilogram taekwondo competitions at Makuhari Messe Hall.

Jang toppled Barbosa via point gap, 26-6. A win by point gap happens when the margin reaches 20 points at any point in the match.

The 6-foot Jang, who stands almost a full head taller than Barbosa, raced to a 12-1 lead in the first round and never looked back.

Barbosa could have still reached the battle for the bronze, but Jang suffered a stunning loss in the semifinals, bowing to Tunisia’s Mohamed Khalil Jendoubi, 25-19.

That eliminated Barbosa officially as only jins who lose to the eventual finalists get into the repechage for a chance for bronze.

“I am giving my gratitude to those people who supported me in my whole journey, for praying and believing that I can,” Barbosa posted on his Instagram page later in the day.

Also late Saturday evening, Meanwhile, Irish Magno climbs atop the ring, hoping to build on Petecio’s win, while Cris Nievarez participates in the quarterfinals of the men’s single sculls. Shooter Jason Valdez also sees action as the Filipinos march on in their quest for medals.

Magno will be a slight underdog when she battles Kenya’s Christine Ongare in women’s flyweight (48 to 51 kg) at Kokukigan Stadium.

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“We analyzed her opponent last night and the tactic [Irish] needs to use is sort of going in and out of punching range,” said Abnett.

The key, Abnett said, would be laying out traps for the Kenyan.

“The Kenyan girl loves to scrap. [Irish] just has to open the space, let her miss and then counter with what we call bread-and-butter shots, strikes to the head and body,” Abnett said.

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TAGS: Carlos Yulo, gymnastics, PH Tokyo 2020, Tokyo Olympics

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