Younger Yulo stamps class as NCR breaks away; records sink in the pool
Young but very competition-seasoned at 15, Karl Eldrew Yulo on Friday won five more gold medals despite some jitters and knows that he needs to turn in a lot more work for the next task that may come.
Karl Eldrew, younger brother of multiple world champion Carlos Edriel, admitted to feeling some nerves, especially in the floor exercise, before thumping the field just the same to become the most bemedaled athlete in the revived Palarong Pambansa.
“The pressure was there. I feared that I might commit mistakes in front of many people. I just didn’t want to get humiliated,’’ said Yulo in Filipino after ruling the floor with a score of 13.500 for his sixth gold medal. “The expectations on me to win were high. For me, the [win on the] floor was the most memorable.
“It wasn’t as fluid as it should be,” he said of his routine at the same event where Carlos won the world title in 2019. “I have to make it smoother before the next tournament comes.’’
Yulo was able to sweep all gold medals in the secondary boys’ artistic gymnastics with four more victories in the apparatuses—the horizontal bar, floor, vault and pommel horse.
He likewise led the National Capital Region (NCR) to the team title after earlier bagging the gold medal in the individual all-around.
Yulo topped the horizontal bar with 9.000 points, got the highest ranking in the vault (13.950) and capped it off with a 9.250 output in the pommel horse before a vibrant crowd at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
“I have yet to talk to [Caloy] and we didn’t have the chance to chat before my tournament,’’ said Yulo, a national pool member, who claimed a silver medal in the men’s junior vault of the Asian Artistic Gymnastics Championships held in Singapore two months ago.
Yulo’s clump of medals boosted NCR’s climb atop the medal tally with 46 golds, 43 silvers and 34 bronzes in the multi-event meet hosted by Marikina City.
Western Visayas is breathing down NCR’s neck at second overall on the penultimate day of action with 40 golds, 29 silvers and 24 bronzes followed by Calabarzon (Region IV-A) in third (34-40-35).
Jennuel De Leon of Western Visayas reset another standard in the pool by winning the secondary boys 50-meter (m) freestyle to headline record-breakers in swimming.
The 18-year-old De Leon clocked 24.09 seconds to shatter the existing mark of Keanne Ting (25.39) that the National Capital Region tanker accomplished in 2019 Davao City.
Calabarzon’s Matthew Thomas Alumbres placed second (24.32) and Marcus Johannes De Kam was third (24.86).
De Leon also wiped clean a previous standard in the secondary boys 50m backstroke on Thursday.
Calabarzon’s Jamesray Mishael Ajido ruled the secondary boys 100m butterfly in 56.78 seconds, eclipsing NCR’s Miguel Barreto’s 57.40 record in 2019 while NCR’s Lance Rafael Cruz also put himself in the record books in the secondary boys 200m breaststroke.
The 18-year-old Cruz clocked 2:25.29 at Marikina Sports Complex swimming pool that obliterated the 2019 mark of Calabarzon’s Jordan Lobos (2:26.77)