The Philippine Star

Pi­noys world champs in gym­nas­tics, box­ing

Su­perb rou­tine nets Phl 1st gym­nas­tics world cham­pi­onship

- By JOEY VIL­LAR – With re­port from Alexis Romero

Car­los Edriel Yulo of the Philip­pines per­forms in the floor ex­er­cise in the men’s fi­nals at the Gym­nas­tics World Cham­pi­onships in Stuttgart, Ger­many on Sat­ur­day. In­set left shows him with his gold medal. In­set above shows Nesthy Pete­cio re­act­ing to win­ning the gold in the 2019 AIBA Women’s Box­ing World Cham­pi­onships in Rus­sia also on Sat­ur­day.

Car­los Edriel “Caloy” Yulo de­liv­ered a tour de force per­for­mance and made his­tory as the first Filipino gym­nast ever to win a gold medal in the FIG Artis­tic Gym­nas­tics World Cham­pi­onships at the Hans Schleyer Halle in Stuttgart, Ger­many yes­ter­day.

Yulo, a pocket-sized 19-year Malate, Manila na­tive, wowed just ev­ery­one with a near flaw­less ef­fort in men’s floor ex­er­cise to garner a score of 15.300 with a level of dif­fi­culty of 6.500 as against Is­raeli Artem Dol­go­pyat’s 15.200 with a level of dif­fi­culty of 6.400.

Former world cham­pion Xiao Routeng of China, per­form­ing last, did not have enough to top­ple Yulo and wound up with a bronze with 14.933.

It was a ma­jor im­prove­ment for Yulo af­ter cop­ping a bronze last year in Doha, Qatar.

What made it more sig­nif­i­cant was the fact that be­cause of the feat, Yulo will be the fa­vorite in next year’s Tokyo Olympics where he will have a chance to cap­ture the coun­try’s very first gold in the qua­dren­nial sum­mer games against prac­ti­cally the same op­po­nents he beat in the Worlds.

He will also be the fa­vorite to har­vest the gold medals in the 30th SEA Games in De­cem­ber at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City where he is pro­jected to pre­vail in the seven events he is en­tered into – vault, par­al­lel bars, high bar, rings, pom­mel horse, in­di­vid­ual all-around and his pet event, the floor ex­er­cise.

Just the day be­fore, Yulo clinched a berth to Tokyo via Olympic al­lo­ca­tion in ad­vanc­ing to the fi­nals with a seventh-place ef­fort in the men’s floor ex­er­cise and 18th out of 160 ath­letes in the in­di­vid­ual all-around.

In the Tokyo Games, Yulo will join pole-vaulter EJ Obi­ena in an at­tempt to nail the elu­sive gold for the coun­try.

What­ever hap­pens from here on, Yulo has se­cured his place in the elite list of Filipino world cham­pi­ons that in­cludes Manny Pac­quiao of box­ing, Paeng Ne­po­mu­ceno of bowl­ing and Efren “Bata” Reyes of bil­liards among oth­ers.

But Yulo is still young and is ex­pected to rake in more awards and ac­co­lades for the na­tion.

The Philip­pine Sports Com­mis­sion, which has been fund­ing Yulo’s train­ing since he started train­ing in Ja­pan three years ago, is re­port­edly re­ward­ing Yulo a cash in­cen­tive worth some­where around P500,000 to P1 mil­lion for his feat.

Yulo will also be ac­corded a hero’s wel­come as he re­turns to the coun­try Tues­day night, head­ing straight to Mala­canang for a cour­tesy call to Pres­i­dent Duterte.

 ?? AP, AFP ??
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