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Yulo savors world tilt experience

Carlos Yulo may have failed to land a gold medal, but he will go back to his training camp in Japan overflowing with experience following a fruitful performance in the 51st FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Liverpool, England.

The 22-year-old Yulo said competing against the best gymnasts in the world, including Olympic men’s all-around champion Daiki Hashimoto of Japan, Zou Jingyuan of China and Artur Davtyan of Armenia, was truly a rich and fulfilling experience as it prepared him physically, emotionally and mentally for the Paris Olympics in 2024.

Yulo put on a show in the biggest gymnastics competition in the world.

After missing the podium in the men’s all-around and floor exercise events over the weekend, the Filipino dynamo bounced back as he clinched the silver medal in the men’s vault and the bronze in the men’s parallel bars that was held late Sunday (Manila time) at the M&S Arena.

He tallied 14.950 points behind the 30-year-old Davtyan, who clinched the gold medal with 15.500 points while Igor Radivilov of Ukraine tallied 14.733 to settle for bronze medal.

Yulo also scored 15.366 to finish third in the men’s parallel bars final behind Zou Jingyuan (16.166 points) and Lukas Dauser of Germany (15.000 points).

“I was surprised going up against them,” said Yulo, one of the country’s brightest hopes to clinch the country’s second Olympic gold medal.

“In a way, it was really good and I was able to experience this kind of competition.”

He admitted that he was disappointed with his performance — especially in floor exercise and vault, which are the events that he used to rule – but he is still glad that he was able to experience competing in the big stage.

“Overall, I picked up a lot of lessons,” the shy, humble kid from Leveriza area in Manila, said.

“I’m disappointed with how my performance turned out, but that’s part of the journey of being an athlete.”

Yulo said the biggest lesson he learned was to let go of things you have no control of.

“I still need to learn to let go of the things that are out of my control,” said Yulo, who was accompanied by Gymnastics Association of the Philippines president Cynthia Carrion, coach Munehiro Kugimiya and therapist Jumpei Konno in this tourney.

“I was focused on improving those that I’m weak at that I forgot to focus on my strong points.”

“It’s hard to accept it but I’m doing it slowly to accept myself.”

Kugimiya, who has been training Yulo for the past five years, said he is very proud of his ward’s performance.

In fact, after seeing the competition in the worlds, they are planning to increase the level of difficulty in his routine in preparation for major events next year, including the 2023 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Cup Series in February and the Asian Games in September as well as the Olympics in 2024.

“I’m not disappointed with his performance. They don’t want mistakes but they happen in gymnastics,” Kugimiya said, adding that making the cut in the tough and star-studded field in men’s all-around event is already a victory.

“We didn’t qualify for the all-around final last year. From that experience, we know how he has to get to the final. Another is that, a higher challenge for the elements because next year is the qualifications because we can’t afford mistakes.”

“This year, we can try in his challenge and that’s why he did well.”

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