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Yulo recalls down moment, vows to return much stronger

Philippines' Carlos Edriel Yulo competes in the artistic gymnastics men's vault final of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre in Tokyo on August 2, 2021. (Photo by Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP)
Carlos Yulo with his coaches (Carlos Yulo Facebook)


By CARLO ANOLIN, KRISTEL SATUMBAGA

Even the best fall down sometimes.
Carlos Yulo cannot help but to cry and vent out his frustrations after experiencing a heartbreaker when he failed to qualify in his pet event floor exercise in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics last July 24.
But that was his only way to give himself a tap on the back and it only made the Filipino gymnast stronger come the vault final Monday, Aug. 2.
“Isang gabi lang po ‘yon. Sobrang down like ang daming nagme-message sa akin na, ‘kaya mo yan.’ Akala po nila nawalan ako ng gana or like hindi ko kaya,” recalled the 21-year-old gymnast in between pauses in an interview with One Sports correspondent Gretchen Ho after the men’s vault final. “Pero ‘di naman po. Ganoon po talaga nangyayari. Naiintindihan ko po ‘yon na hindi palaging smooth ‘yong daan lalo na po sports po ito, [talagang may] ups and downs.
“Noong gabi pong ‘yon, like after namin mag-meeting, pagpasok ko sa kwarto, sobrang umiyak po talaga ako. Iniyak ko po talaga. Hindi ko kinaya na pigilan tsaka ayaw ko rin pigilan. Feeling ko mas lalakas pa ako kapag nilabas ko siya.”
And after a week, the gymnast from Malate, Manila, who is fondly known as Caloy, did not disappoint after landing fourth in the vaults.
Despite missing a podium finish, Yulo scored the highest in his second leap with 14.866. He fell short due to a penalty in the first attempt with 14.566 for an overall 14.716.
Were it not for the penalty, a costly 0.100 after his foot stuck out of the landing mark, he could have captured the bronze medal away from Armenia’s Artur Davtyan, who finished with 14.733.
South Korean Shin Jeahwan, a two-time world champion, ruled the event en route to the gold while Russian Olympic Committee’s Denis Abliazin secured silver.
Yulo, the 2019 world champion in floor exercise, later on expressed gratitude to all of his supporters and vowed to return stronger. 

In a social media post hours after his men’s vault final stint, the 21-year-old Manileño thanked his supporters for all the well wishes he has received for the past week.

“Gusto ko lang magpasalamat sa Panginoon sa mga biyaya na pinagkaloob sa akin,” Yulo wrote on his Facebook account.

“Nagpapasalamat din ako sa Pamilya ko na patuloy na pagsuporta sakin. Nag papasalamat din ako sa team ko, dahil sa kanila natungtong ko yung pangarap ko na makapaglaro sa Olympics.”

Yulo said the road to his first Olympic appearance was hard and arduous, but it was all worth it.

“Hindi naging madali yung daang tinahak namin, pero sulit lahat ng pagod at iyak. Maraming salamat din po sa mga taong nagdasal at sumuporta sa amin,” said Yulo, who spend years apart from his family to train in Japan under Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya.

“Babalik po kaming malakas!”

Yulo almost made it to the podium in the vault after landing fourth behind two-time world champion Shin Jeahwan. This came after his unsuccessful bid of making into the finals of the floor exercise, where he is tipped to win the gold following his gold-medal performance in the 2019 world championships.

But Yulo chose to treasure this opportunity and took it as a life-changing experience for his young and promising career.

“Gusto kong magpalakas. Feeling ko po may igagaling pa ako,” said Yulo in a separate interview.

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Written by Tempo Desk

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