Carlos Yulo will not be backing down from the giant competition when he competes in the 51st FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Liverpool, England.
With his finger injury completely healed on top of solid trainings in Japan, France and England, the 22-year-old Olympian knows that it will all boil down to how he will be able to carry himself when he sees action at the M&S Bank Arena.
Yulo is competing in the qualifiers of all six apparatuses and the individual all-around event at press time.
A total of 24 berths are at stake in the individual all-around finals while eight spots in each apparatus are up for grabs. The finals of the individual all-around are set on Friday while the apparatus finals are scheduled on Saturday and Sunday.
Unlike in the previous edition of this prestigious event in which he campaigned in only three apparatuses, Yulo is tipped to compete in all events, including pommel horse, rings and horizontal bar in a bid to surpass his one-gold and one-silver medal finish in Kitakyushu, Japan.
He clinched the gold medal in the vault apparatus and grabbed the silver medal in parallel bars. He, however, finished fifth in his pet event – floor exercise.
But this year, it’s going to be an all-out war.
Blocking Yulo’s path to glory are reigning Olympic champion Artem Dolgopyat of Israel as well as podium finishers Rayderley Zapata of Spain and Xiao Ruoteng of China.
The pride of Manila stressed that he has to surpass his performance in the previous Summer Games in Japan, the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi and the Asian Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Doha if he wants to reclaim his world title.
“I want to correct the mistakes I made in the SEA Games and in the Asian Championships. There’s also the goal of getting the gold medal in the events I participated in last year,” said Yulo, who is accompanied in Liverpool by Gymnastics Association of the Philippines Cynthia Carrion and coach Munehiro Kugimiya.
“There are a lot of other good gymnasts. I’m not saying that I have no chance because I’ve been to the finals several times and I have my achievements. I know that if I execute what I practice, I have a chance to win first place.”
Kugimiya said Yulo has a golden chance of figuring prominently, similar to what he did when he ruled the floor exercise event in the 2019 edition in Stuttgart, Germany.
“If he lands well in the vault, he can get the medal as well as in the floor if he can land his routine,” said Kugimiya, who has been training Yulo in Tokyo for more than five years.