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Carlos Yulo vaults way to Tokyo Olympics

Pinoy gymnast earns Olympic berth

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By Kristel Satumbaga

Caloy Yulo became the second Fili­pino qualifier to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after advancing to the men’s floor exercise and all-around final of the 49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships on Monday (early Tuesday in Manila) in Stut­tgart, Germany.

Caloy Yulo (Photo courtesy of Janeth Tenorio)

Caloy Yulo (Photo courtesy of Janeth Tenorio)

The 19-year-old sensation, the first local gymnast to earn a ticket to the Summer Games, finished seventh in the floor exercise with a 14.633 score behind top qualifier Artem Dolgopyat of Israel (15.033), Lin Chaopan of China (14.933) and Nikita Nagornny of Russia (14.900).

Yulo got the Olympic allocation based from his all-around performance after other athletes have earned berths in the team event.

Others who qualified are Cuba’s Manrique Larduet, Italy’s Ludovico Edalli, Kazakhstan’s Milad Karimi, Frances, Loris Frasca, Lithuania’s Robert Tvorogal, Israel’s Alexander Shatilov, Turkey’s Ferhat Arican, Armenia’s Artur Davtyan, Bulgaria’s David Huddleston, Netherlands’ Bart Deurloo and Mexico’s Daniel Corral.

“I appreciate Caloy as my gymnast. Our many times spent in training paid off. We still have the finals. We will focus on these two opportunities,” said Yulo’s Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya in his Facebook account.

Yulo’s floor exercise feat boosted his campaign in the all-around, finish­ing 18th with an 82.164 score following performances in the pommel horse (12.466 for 92nd), still rings (13.166 for 72nd), vault (14.433 for 32nd), parallel bars (14.433 for 22nd) and horizontal bar (13.033 for 82nd).

Carlos Yulo is accompanied by Gymnastics Association of the Philippines president Cynthia Carrion and Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya, back, in his stint at the 49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany on Monday. (From Munehiro Kugimiya's Facebook account)

Carlos Yulo is accompanied by Gymnastics Association of the Philippines president Cynthia Carrion and Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya, back, in his stint at the 49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany on Monday. (From Munehiro Kugimiya’s Facebook account)

Leading the all-around qualifiers are Nagornny (87.333), reigning world champion Artur Dalaloyan of Russia (86.531) and multiple world champion Xiao Ruoteng of China (85.531).

Only the Top 8 athletes in each ap­paratus and Top 24 in the all-around made it to the final round.

The all-around final will be on Fri­day while the floor exercise final is set Saturday.

Yulo joins pole vaulter EJ Obiena to the Tokyo Games after the latter made the qualifying standard at a meet in Italy last month.

Last year, Yulo became the first Filipino and male Southeast Asian to win a medal in the world champion­ships after bagging bronze in the floor exercise. He has been training exten­sively in Japan for the last two years under Kugimiya.

Last February, he bagged the floor exercise gold in the first leg of the FIG Apparatus World Cup in Melbourne, Australia and finished bronze in the second leg of the event in Doha, Qatar.

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