Carlos Yulo claims three golds in Asian Championships, but he’s not stopping there
Even if Carlos Yulo went through his rigorous routines in the Asian Artistic Gymnastics Championships with near-impeccable precision that led to three gold medals, the 4-foot-11 bundle of energy is up for more work.
Minutes after bamboozling the best in the region in Singapore in the floor, the parallel bars and the vault, Yulo, according to Gymnastics Association of the Philippines president Cynthia Carrion-Norton, is not going to take a long respite with the World Championship in the horizon.
“Well, Carlos has a lot of work to do for the World Championships as all countries are improving and he has to do the same,’’ Carrion-Norton told the Inquirer.
The 23-year-old ruled the men’s floor last Saturday. This is the event that propelled him to world acclaim back in 2018 in Stuttgart, Germany, before winning another world crown in the vault three years later in Kitakyushu, Japan.
In Singapore over the weekend, Carlos Yulo executed his floor routine almost without fault to amaze the crowd at OCBC Arena.
“He was phenomenal. I got a text from here saying `unbelievable, awesome’,’’ said Carrion-Norton.
A confirmation of that was given by the judges, who awarded the Japan-based Yulo 15.300 points in the finals, almost a full point ahead of silver medalist Dmitry Patanin of Kazakhstan (14.366). China’s Su Weide got the bronze with 14.333 points.
Yulo likewise topped the vault and parallel bars on Sunday while capping a scintillating performance with a bronze medal in the high bars.
He placed second in the all-around, which catapulted him to a qualification spot in the coming World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium.
Yulo also bagged a silver and a bronze while towing the Philippine men’s team which also featured Juancho Miguel Besana, John Ivan Cruz, Justine Ace De Leon and Jann Gwynn Timbang to seventh place.
The Tokyo Olympian kept his composure in the vault despite a faulty landing in his first try to retain the title.
Yulo’s erroneous landing got him 13.966 points before scoring 14.633 in his second vault for a 14.299 average, good enough to prevent Uzbekistan’s Abdulaziz Mirvaliev (14.083) and Korea’s Jaeho Kim (13.766) from taking the crown he also won last year in Doha, Qatar.
Yulo earned 15.266 points in the parallel bars, beating Japan’s Shinnosuke Oka (15.133) and China’s Dehang Yin (15.100).
Yulo won’t be the lone Filipino in Antwerp for the worlds on Sept. 30 to Oct. 8 after Aleah Finnegan’s double bronze-medal output in the women’s vault and balance beam and Emma Lauren Malabuyo’s silver feat in the women’s floor.
Finnegan became the first lady gymnast from the Philippines to reach the podium in the continental meet before Emma Lauren Malabuyo joined her with a near victory on the floor.
But then again, the looming Belgium worlds is an entirely different animal, one that could make or break Carlos Yulo’s Olympic dream.
“He (Yulo) has to have his mind strong, emotions strong and his skill even stronger to win,’’ said Carrion-Norton.