Yulo shoots for first all-around gold in world championships

Yulo shoots for first all-around gold in world championships

KRISTEL SATUMBAGA

Carlos Yulo shoots for the first of the four gold medals he’s aiming when he competes in the men’s all-around final in the 51st FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Liverpool, England Friday, Nov. 4.

Competition fires off at 6 p.m. (2 a.m. Saturday in Manila) with Yulo seeking to outshine 23 other qualifiers that include top finalist Wataru Tanigawa and reigning Olympic champion Daiki Hashimoto of Japan.

Yulo surprised himself during Monday’s qualifications when he finished third among 96 participants with 84.664 points behind Tanigawa (84.731) and Hashimoto (84.665).

He relied on his pet event, floor exercise, where he humbled the field with 15.266, as well as in vault where he finished third (14.733) and parallel bars where he ended fourth (15.300).

The 22-year-old Olympian is also gunning for gold medals in those three events when he competes in the finals on Saturday, Nov. 5 (floor exercise) and Sunday, Nov. 6 (vault and parallel bars).

In the all-around final, Yulo will first see action in the floor exercise, followed by pommel horse, still rings, vault, parallel bars and lastly, high bar.

He hopes to particularly improve his performance in pommel horse, where he got his lowest score of 11.766 to finish 102nd in the qualification round. He finished 10th in high bar with 13.533 and 10th in still rings with 14.066.

Yulo’s Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya is optimistic of his stalwart’s podium chances.

“He’s making progress as an all-rounder,” said Kugimiya.

Yulo, meanwhile, admits the final round is a different beast.

“Of course, I would like to beat them. This is the first time I’m going to be in the first group and it’s a big, big achievement for me,” he said.

“I’m going to be more aggressive this time.”