Carlos Yulo, the Filipino gymnast, considers the World Artistics Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, last October as one of the most challenging tournaments he has ever competed in. Unfortunately, he had a disastrous performance, missing the all-around final of the Paris Olympics qualifying event after falling flat on his back during his dismount in the still rings.
Reflecting on his experience, Yulo shared, “It was really hard during the Worlds because I had to push myself to continue after I fell. I had a hard time recovering because I couldn’t feel my feet anymore when the vault started. My bad fall affected me badly in the next apparatus. It was truly one of the toughest competitions for me.”
Despite the setback, Yulo managed to secure his second straight Olympic qualification by being the highest-ranked eligible participant in the floor exercise. This vindicated his decision to skip the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, where he was a strong favorite to win multiple gold medals.
Yulo, who recently turned 24, is determined to move on from the underwhelming phase of his athletic career. He made the difficult decision to part ways with his long-time Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya, who played a significant role in transforming him into a world-class gymnast. Despite the change, Yulo remains confident in his abilities and aims to win a medal at the upcoming Olympics in July.
With a rigorous training plan and unwavering dedication, Yulo believes he has a good chance of achieving his goal. He values each day of training, constantly striving for improvement. “I really push myself to the limits,” he emphasized.
Yulo’s ultimate goal is to execute his routines successfully and stick to his plans for each event. He acknowledges that challenges will arise, but he is ready to face them head-on. Staying injury-free is crucial, and he hopes to maintain his health in the lead-up to the Olympics.
As a two-time Olympian, Yulo has learned to accept the ups and downs of the sport. He understands that winning and losing are part of the game. “It was one of those competitions where I’m not the best, but I gave it my all. I finished the competition despite the struggles that I experienced,” he shared.
Prior to the World Championships, Yulo had a series of victories that often go unnoticed due to his disappointing performance in Antwerp. He secured gold medals in the all-around and parallel bars at the Cambodia Southeast Asian Games. Additionally, he emerged as the best male gymnast in the Asian Championships, winning gold in the floor, vault, and parallel bars.
Yulo expressed gratitude for the challenges he faced during the World Championships, as they provided him with valuable lessons and realizations. He had the opportunity to reflect on his training and personal life, identifying areas for improvement. “Good and bad, I’m grateful for those things,” he said.
Despite his intense training, Yulo acknowledges that he is still working towards reaching his peak performance. He recognizes the need to focus on developing additional skills and building strength through dedicated exercises.
Carlos Yulo’s journey to redemption and his pursuit of Olympic glory is a testament to his resilience and determination. With his unwavering commitment to improvement and his unwavering spirit, he is ready to showcase his skills on the world stage once again. As the Olympics draw near, all eyes will be on Yulo as he aims to make his mark and bring home a medal for the Philippines.
Source: The Manila Times