STUTTGART – With his ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games assured, Carlos Edriel Yulo will gun for the gold medal in the floor exercise at the start of the apparatus finals on Saturday of the 49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships at the at the Hans Martin Schleyer Halle
Yulo is seeking to surpass his bagging the floor exercise bronze medal during his debut in the previous edition held in Doha, Qatar last year.
While the weather outside this hilly German City has been generally chilly, action inside the arena is expected to heat up featuring the top 24 finalists in both the men’s and women’s divisions, among them the celebrated American gymnast Simone Biles, who take to the floor at 4 p.m. (10 p.m. Manila time).
“Gusto ko po talaga maka-gold ngayon. Para sa aking pamilya at kay coach Mune,” said the soft-spoken athlete shortly after he qualified for the event in placing seventh overall in the apparatus with a high score of 14.633 points, higher than his bronze-medal score of 14.600 in Doha.
Coach Mune, of course, is none other than Japanese mentor Munehiro Kugimiya, who has been supervising Yulo’s training for over six years now and fashioned the Pinoy gymnast into the world-class athlete that he is at present.
The Gymnastics Association of the Philippines protégé showed what it takes to be on top of his favorite event in securing the gold medal in the opening leg of the FIG Individual Apparatus World Cup last January in Melbourne, Australia.
Yulo bared that this is why Kugimiya raised the difficulty rating of his routine from 6.2 to 6.5, the highest among the eight floor exercise finalists, which was also rating as Russian defending floor exercise champion Artur Dalaloyan, who placed fifth in the qualifiers with a tally of 14.733 points.
He also has to reckon with the other finalists, including Israel’s Artem Dolgopyat, who emerged as the topnotcher in the qualifiers with a tally of 15.033 points.