On parallel bars, Carlos Yulo has third shot at Olympic glory

Carlos Yulo Paris Olympics

Carlos Yulo has had success in the parallel bars, winning a gold medal during the Southeast Asian Games. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

(Last of a series)

Carlos Yulo is expected to battle for a medal in the floor exercise and the vault, two disciplines in artistic gymnastics where the Filipino spark plug has won world titles.

But don’t be surprised if Yulo will find himself in contention in one more apparatus in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

As earlier mentioned, there are three events where Yulo could tab a podium finish.

One of them is the parallel bars (p-bar).

The apparatus features two horizontal bars 3.35 meters long and about 2 m high. To kick off his routine, Yulo will initiate his parallel bar mount or his run-up from a still stand with legs together.

The moment the feet leave the ground simultaneously, the quest begins. A vaulting board placed at the height of the landing mats is permitted for the mount.

Yulo has so far used the following moves in the p-bars:

1. Healy—a skill that involves performing a 180-degree turnaround one of the parallel bars while transitioning from a support hold to a handstand.

2. Press Handstand—lifting one’s body from a straddle L position to a handstand without any swinging or momentum. It can be performed with hands on one rail or two rails.

3. Stutz Handstand—a swing down from the handstand, then releasing both hands and twisting the body a half turn prior to holding again onto the bar in a handstand.

4. Diamidov—named to celebrate the feat of Russian gymnast Sergey Diomidov in the event, it consists of a swing down from handstand, through support, then releasing one hand and twisting the body a full turn, before ending things with a handstand.

5. Tippelt—Perfected by German gymnast Sven Tippelt, the maneuver sets out from a handstand, swings forward and straddles backward to handstand.

6. Bhavsar—Stephen Raj Bhavsar of the United States gymnastics team created and performed the act in 2009 at the Moscow World Cup. It’s a release move from a handstand, a swing forward, a straddle backward and a regrasp with a horizontal straight body. The move starts on one end of the bars and finishes on the other.

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Yulo mixes these elements and normally executes a double front salto dismount in most of his performances in this event.

Regulated by the Code of Points, scoring at the Olympics consists of two panels of judges for each routine—one assesses the difficulty and the other evaluates the execution, after which the final score is the combined accumulation of these two scores.

“I understand that [all my opponents are] getting better, so I have to improve my skills,’’ said Yulo, who will fly to the French capital on July 6 and arrange another training camp until July 21 before entering the Olympic village on July 22.

READ: Carlos Yulo snares Doha Worlds bars gold; PH qualifies two more for Paris Olympics

“Aside from proper execution, this is definitely a test of mental strength. It’s going to be me versus me,’’ said Yulo.

His date with history begins July 27 during the qualification round at the Bercy Arena in Paris.

If Lady Luck smiles at him, Yulo can contend for an Olympic medal in the floor finals on Aug. 3, followed by the battle for gold in the vault on Aug. 4 and the p-bars finale on Aug. 5.