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Dazzling Yulo grows medal collection

Carlos Yulo’s 2022 has been nothing short of dazzling after getting a medal in every competition he has played in.

Tracing back to the 31st Southeast Asian Games last May, the 22-year-old gymnast won five gold medals, two silver medals and one bronze medal en route to becoming the most bemedaled Filipino entry in Hanoi.

In the 2022 Asian Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Doha last June, the pride of Leveriza, Manila bagged three gold medals and one silver medal.

He would then pocket a silver medal in the men’s vault and a bronze medal in the 41st FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Liverpool, England as well as an eighth-place finish in the men’s all-around tournament.

“There were goals I reached, some didn’t. I would give it an eight out of ten. My performances were strong, there were just some tournaments that I was short. I might not have been able to win a lot of competitions, but I was able to get experience from them,” Yulo said.

But as he told Daily Tribune in an awards dinner organized by the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines, he still aims to be more confident in his routines for the slew of competitions ahead.
“I still have a lot of things to polish not only as a gymnast but as a human. As a gymnast, I wanted to be more confident and believe in myself,” Yulo said.

“I reached a lot of goals but there were some tournaments that I fell short. I would give myself an eight out of 10 because I might not have been able to win all my competitions but I was able to gain a lot of experience from it.”

Yulo is making the most of his break in the Philippines before flying back to Japan on 3 January to resume his training.

He admitted he still trains with his Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya at MVP Sports Foundation Training Center in Intramuros to keep himself in shape.

“Actually, my training here isn’t light but just shortened. It’s hard to train in a different environment since I’m not based here,” Yulo said.

“Training in a different environment will be my challenge.”

Yulo will have to adapt as he will be always traveling in hopes of securing a slot in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Apart from the 32nd Southeast Asian Games, Yulo is set to compete in the 2023 Asian Artistic Gymnastics Championships and the 2023 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium from 30 September and 8 October, where a top eight place in the men’s all-around will earn him an automatic spot in Paris.

He will also join the 2023 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Cup series, a four-leg tournament that will start in Cottbus, Germany (23 to 26 February), Doha, Qatar (1 to 4 March), Baku, Azerbaijan (9 to 12 March) and Cairo, Egypt (27 to 30 April).

GAP president Cynthia Carrion is thankful to the Filipino gymnasts to end the year strong and promises to everyone an exciting campaign in the next two years.

“We want gymnastics to be a very watched sport and so we feel blessed to end the year strong. 2023 and 2024 will be an exciting year for gymnastics,” Carrion said.

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