by Kristel Satumbaga
For a country still looking for a big name in gymnastics, the bronze medal effort of diminutive Carlos Yulo will certainly shine a like a gold.
The 4-foot-11 Yulo made history after clinching a bronze in the floor exercise of the 48th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
“Sobrang saya ko po. Hindi ko po iniexpect ang podium finish kasi sobrang ang gagaling po talaga nila,” Yulo told his mother – Angelica.
The elder Yulo said her son’s gallant effort will make them a prouder even more.
“Nakaka-proud po kasi history ang ginawa niya sa bansang Pilipinas sa larangang ng sports. Sobrang amazed and super saya for him. Kasi unti-unti na niyang naabot ang pangarap niya,” said Angelica.
Debuting in the prestigious tournament, Yulo impressed the judges that he got 14.600 points – good for third.
Russian Artur Dalaloyan of Russia (14.900) got the gold and Shirai Kenzo of Japan (14.866) wound up second.
With the feat, Yulo became the first Filipino to win a medal in the world championship. His final qualification in the all-around final a few days back was also an achievement as he also became the first Filipino to do so in the world championship.
The 18-year-old Yulo placed 12th among 292 gymnasts to advance but finished 23rd out of 24 in the finals.
United States’ national governing body in gymnastics, USA Gymnastics, even noted Yulo’s impressive performance on its live Twitter feed in the event, saying: “Yulo gets exceptional airtime on all his passes and shows very nice work throughout his routine.”
Yulo, who fell short of his medal campaign in the recent Asian Games in Indonesia last August, has been extensively training in Japan after accepting a training and scholarship program from the Japanese Olympic Committee.
He made waves last March after bagging a silver medal in the men’s floor event of the 2018 Doha World Cup.