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Costly mistake

An early mishap in his pet event — men’s floor exercise — cost Carlos Yulo a medal in the 51st FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships late Saturday (Manila time) at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, England.

Yulo, one of the tournament’s heavy favorites following a superb performance in the men’s all-around on Friday, failed to keep his feet on the ground after executing a two and a half to a double front pike routine, prompting him to finish at seventh with a dismal 13.3 points.

His performance was way below expectations as he registered 15.226 points in the qualifying round and 15.166 points in the floor exercise event of the men’s all-around competition.

The 22-year-old Filipino dynamo blamed his doomed performance to his lack of focus.

“I’m really disappointed, obviously. Yesterday was okay — I hit it. But today, I had a feeling that I lost myself,” said Yulo, who ruled the floor exercise event of this world-class tournament in 2019.

“I am sorry that I lost today. But maybe, I will gain the experience from here despite my performance. I want to come back stronger next year.”

He added that the outcome of his routine wasn’t expected.

“I didn’t kick like what I do in practice,” said Yulo, one of the country’s brightest hopes in the Paris Olympics in 2024.

“It was a bit soft. I felt I couldn’t make it, but I tried to correct it on the landing. It was affected by my tumble and then it was like a chain, you can’t stop it.”

With Yulo fizzling out, hometown bet Giarnni Regini-Moran seized the golden opportunity, registering 14.533 points to win the gold in the eight-team field composed of world champions and Olympic standouts.

His victory enabled the 24-year-old Regini-Moran to become the first British male champion in floor exercise.

“It means the absolute world,” said Regini-Moran, who also powered Great Britain to a dramatic comeback en route to clinching the bronze medal in the men’s team event.

“I almost feel like I’ve completed life now.”

Reigning champion Daiki Hashimoto of Japan settled for the silver medal with 14.500 points while compatriot Ryosuke Doi claimed the bronze medal with 14.266 points entering the penultimate day of this prestigious tournament.

Still, Philippine Sports Commission chairperson Jose Emmanuel “Noli” Eala congratulated Yulo for making it to the final and representing the country well in this star-studded tournament.

“It is very unfortunate that Caloy Yulo missed out on a podium finish in his pet floor exercises and all-around finals,” Eala said in a social media post.

“But such is sport and the requirements at the highest levels of the game. Short of perfection. Better now than in Paris. Laban lang Caloy!”

Yulo still has a chance to redeem himself as he is still competing in the men’s vault and parallel bar finals at press time.

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