In Germany, Yulo begins long journey to Paris
Carlos Edriel Yulo hung out with his family and close friends for nearly three weeks and celebrated his birthday with them recently.
Now it’s time for business.
Yulo arrived in Cottbus, Germany, on Monday for the kickoff leg of the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Cup Series set to begin on Thursday, the first big tournament for the nation’s best gymnast, who is out to accomplish one important goal: Book a spot in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
“I’m confident, but I will not let my guard down. This is the way to prove what I’ve said that I have to connect in all my competitions,’’ said Yulo in Filipino.
The Cottbus meet is the starting point of a four-phase tournament where the 22-year-old Yulo is expected to harness his prowess in vault and floor exercise, events where he struck the gold medal in the world championships.
The 4-foot-11 fireball, who competes under the tutelage of Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya will see action in the other apparatuses such as parallel bars—where he won medals twice on the world stage—and rings; he will, however, skip the horizontal bar and pommel horse.
“He will only compete in four apparatuses. We had to endure a 19-hour trip going here. We will start training at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and then again at 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. for Caloy to get used to this very cold weather,’’ said Gymnastics Association of Philippines president Cynthia Carrion-Norton.
Just two days after the Cottbus tournament, Doha in Qatar will host the second leg of the World Cup series from March 1 to 4 followed by the third leg in Baku, Azerbaijan, (March 9 to 12) before wrapping up in Cairo, Egypt, on April 27 to 30.
Yulo will have to skip the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, in September since it run into conflict with the 2023 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, on Sept. 30 to Oct. 10, a qualifier to the 2024 Paris Olympics.
“It’s a battle of hearts in the world championships. You have to be 120 percent ready with a strong mindset,’’ said Yulo.
The Belgium event will give eight athletes tickets to the 2024 Paris men’s event, all of them eligible to compete on each apparatus. INQ