World champ in vault, Carlos Yulo goes after Paris Olympics glory

Carlos Yulo hopes to turn hisOlympic fortunes around in Paris. —AUGUST DELA CRUZ

Carlos Yulo hopes to turn his Olympic fortunes around in Paris. —AUGUST DELA CRUZ

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Aside from the floor exercise, Carlos Yulo will also seek glory in the vault.

The Filipino star gymnast, however, isn’t singling this discipline out on a whim. After winning the floor exercise in the 2019 world championships in Stuttgart, Germany, Yulo secured his second world title in the men’s vault during the 2021 worlds in Kitakyushu, Japan.

And while everyone was referring to the floor exercise as Yulo’s pet event, it is in the vault where the Manila-born dynamo has really shone.

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After being a world champion in that apparatus, the vault has become Yulo’s bread and butter with gold medals in the 2022 Doha and 2023 Singapore Asian championships and a silver in the 2022 world championships in Liverpool.

Each vault begins with a run and a takeoff from both feet to the vault board with legs together and is executed with a brief support phase on the table with two hands.

The vault may contain single or multiple turns. After the first vault, the gymnast returns without delay to the starting position and, at the signal of the judge, performs his second vault.

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Yulo sprang off the vault with a Dragulescu in capturing the title in the 2021 world championship. Named after Romania’s gymnastics great Marian Dragulescu, the acrobatic stunt is a handspring forward double front somersault with a half twist.

The Filipino Tokyo Olympian first attempted the Ri Se-gwang in cornering the silver medal during the 2022 world championship in Liverpool, England.

Yulo described the dangerous flight, named after the North Korean Olympic champion, as scary as it consists of a front handspring double-piked salto with a half twist in mid-air before landing.

The 24-year-old ace from Leveriza likewise tried the Blanik, which was copyrighted by Polish gymnast and vault Olympic gold medalist Leszek Blanik after he was the first to perform a handspring forward, double front salto in a piked position during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Yulo hasn’t bared exactly what he will perform when he makes his appearance in Paris, where he hopes to atone for a disappointing finish in the Tokyo Olympics, where he crashed out of the floor exercise.