Yulo plunges into battle in Artistic Gymnastics in Liverpool, England

CARLOS YULO — REUTERS

FILIPINO star Carlos “Caloy” Yulo tries to add more to his stockpile of conquests as he plunges into battle tonight in the 51st Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Liverpool, England.

The pocket-sized wonder from Leveriza, Manila is scheduled to see action in all six apparatuses, hoping to make the finals in most of it if not all as well as in the individual all-around.

The quintuple Southeast Asian Games gold medalist will be keenly eyeing to perform great in three if his most favored events — floor exercise, vault and parallel bars.

It was in the floor exercise where he first became world champion in Stuttgart, Germany three years ago before capturing the mint in vault and silver in parallel bars in Kitakyushu, Japan last year.

While he sets out to cop at least a medal in the three events, Mr. Yulo’s other target is to finish from sixth to eighth place in the individual all-around.

“We will do our best to win medals there,” said Mr. Yulo during a brief presser in a training camp in Paris, France less than a week ago before flying to Liverpool for his final preparation.

But unlike last year, the field is expected to be tougher this time as this edition is considered the biggest after drawing 400 gymnasts from 74 countries including more than two dozen world and Olympic medalists, among them Japanes Hashimoto Daiki, the men’s all-around and horizontal bar world titlist.

For the first time this year, gymnasts have had to earn the right to compete at the World Championships via events including the FIG World Cup series and continental championships, rendering the field one of the most competitive in history.

“This is a very exciting time for Gymnastics. Only a year after the Tokyo Olympic Games, gymnasts and coaches are already starting to think about Paris 2024, and Liverpool gives them the chance to gain valuable experience on the world stage,” said FIG President Morinari Watanabe.

“Since the last World Championships in Kitakyushu 12 months ago, fascinating new talents have emerged all over the world. At this competition, they will meet the greatest of this generation. Like everyone else, I cannot wait to see what happens.” — Joey Villar