STUTTGART - Carlos Edriel Yulo will gauge his progress since last year when he goes up against the global giants of gymnastics anew in the men’s all-around finals of the 49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships at the at the Hans Martin Schleyer Halle here on Friday.
Fresh from a three-day break, Yulo, 19, will enter the arena boosted by his qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games after placing 18th overall in the all-around qualifiers last Monday with an aggregate tally of 82.164 points from six apparatuses.
The Tokyo-based Pinoy gymnast scored 77.64 points and placed 23rd overall out of the 24 finalists in his debut at the worlds last year in Doha, Qatar, with Russian Arthur Dalaloyan bagging the gold medal with a top score of 87.898 points.
Dalaloyan is back to defend his title, scoring 86.531 points to take the No. 2 spot in the qualifiers behind compatriot and pre-tournament favorite Nikita Nagornyy, who took top spot with a tally of 87.333 points. China’s Xiao Ruofeng, who was a double gold medalist in Doha, was third (85.831). Both Dalaloyan and Nagornyy anchored the Russian squad to the men’s team championship last Wednesday as they tallied 261.76 points, narrowly dethroning defending champion China (260.729); while Japan took the bronze (258.159).
The 24 men’s all-around finalists will take to the floor at 4 p.m. (10 p.m Manila time) with Yulo starting his campaign with the rings, followed by the vault, parallel bars, horizontal bar, floor exercise, respectively, before winding up with the pommel horse.
Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya, who has been handling Yulo for over six years, said last Monday after the qualifiers that they would tweak some of his ward’s routines so that he could surpass his previous accomplishment in Doha.
“Caloy (Yulo’s) has improved so much since the 2018 competition so we are aiming for a better finish here than in Doha,” Kugimiya, who is the head coach of the national men’s gymnastics squad, said.
Yulo, whose stint is funded by the Philippine Sports Commission, willvhave one last event here on Saturday when he sees action in the first day of the apparatus finals, kicking off with the men’s floor exercise, pommel horse and rings and the women’s vault and uneven bars.
The gymnast took the bronze medal in Doha and is expected to go all out for gold in this competition that drew gymnasts from 92 countries.