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Yulo’s mission: Get Summer Games slot


CALOY Yulo (middle) has the entire Philippine Sports Commission’s backing.

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF PSC CALOY Yulo (middle) has the entire Philippine Sports Commission’s backing.

The mission is perfectly simple for Carlos Yulo when he competes in the 52nd FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium this September: Get into the top eight of the men’s individual all-around.

Because that would mean automatic slot to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Yulo, 23, said the first order of business in the Belgian tilt is to make it to the top eight, although the top 24 would make it to the finals.

“It won’t be easy qualifying for the Olympics. Back then, the top 12 gymnasts qualified for the Olympics,” Yulo said during a press conference at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex last Friday.

This year’s World Championships will be held from 30 September to 10 October at the Antwerp Sportpaleis.

Yulo took home three golds, one silver and one bronze medal in the 10th Senior Artistic Gymnastics Asian Championships at the OCBC Center in Singapore last week.

This will also work in his favor as it will help him focus on the apparatus finals after he gets a spot for the Summer Games in the individual all-around.

“I’ll be focusing on the individual all-around because I want to be relaxed when the event finals come around. My coach and I are planning to increase the difficulty and execution of my routines.”

Yulo’s upcoming stint in the World Championships will be the biggest opportunity to get into the Summer Games and avenge his embarrassing performance in the Tokyo Games in 2021.

Members of the top three teams in last year’s World Championships in Liverpool, England, China, Japan and Great Britain, will not be included in the count for the individual all-around after getting their Olympic slots through the team all-around last year.

Still, Yulo won’t be leaving his Olympic dreams to chance as he vows to work hard and put on a show for the biggest artistic gymnastics meet in the world.

“It would be better if I were able to win some medals but for now, I want to focus on practice,” Yulo said.

“I’m always looking for ways to improve my performance and I always want to show my style of gymnastics.”

Gymnastics Association of the Philippines president Cynthia Carrion said they will be rooting for Yulo in the World Championships as well as Filipino-American gymnasts Aleah Finnegan and Kylee Kvamme, who secured their slots in the Asian Championships.

“For Carlos, we’ll be concentrating on the World Championships and we hope he will qualify for the Olympics. Kylee and Aleah will continue training in the United States with their coaches,” Carrion said.

Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richard “Dickie” Bachmann, who was in the press conference, said he will talk to Carrion to discuss the funds GAP needs for its tournaments.

“I will have to sit down with Cynthia later and I do have a PSC board meeting on Tuesday to discuss the budget for gymnastics and for Carlos. The PSC will always be there to support them,” Bachmann said.

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