Gymnast Carlos Edriel “Caloy” Yulo has stayed on track to his Olympic dream with a bronze medal performance in the Melbourne leg of the FIG Artistic Individual Apparatus World Cup series in Australia. The tournament was held from Feb. 22-25 at the Hisense Arena.
Competing in his first tournament as an elite (senior) athlete, the 18-year-old Yulo placed fifth in the men’s vault qualification round where the top eight athletes get to advance to the final round.
In the final, he and Japanese Kaisuke Asato both scored 14.233 points.
But the Japanese was given a -3 deduction, which paved the way for Yulo’s bronze finish in the tournament where athletes can earn points to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Christopher Remkees of Australia scored 14.616 points to claim the gold medal, while Lee Chin Kai of Chinese Taipei got the silver medal with a score of 14.450 points.
In the floor exercise event, Yulo was eighth while Rafael Ablaza was 17th in the qualification round.
In the final, Yulo placed seventh with a score of 13.100. The top three finishers were Japanese Kazuyuki Takeda, Chinese Shihao Ge and Lithuanian Robert Tvorogal.
The Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP) said Yulo is scheduled to compete in two World Cups before the Asian Games in Indonesia as well as the World Championships to boost his chances to qualify in Tokyo.
The two World Cups will be held from March 15-18 in Baku, Azerbaijan, and Doha, Qatar from March 21-24. The Asian Games will be co-hosted by Jakarta and Palembang cities in Indonesia from Aug. 18 to Sept. 2.
“Caloy competed in his first international tournament as a senior and he got qualifying points for Tokyo.
He has been improving and winning medals since he started training under coach Munehiro Kugiyama,” GAP secretary general Bettina Pou said in an interview over Radyo Pilipinas Dos on Monday.
Yulo, a two-time Palarong Pambansa champion, is a scholar of the Olympic Solidarity Program. Last year, Yulo collected the gold medal in the parallel bars event at the 14th Asian Junior Gymnastics
Championships in Thailand, winning the event with a sprained ankle he sustained during practice.
In 2016, Yulo captured five medals, including golds, in the 8th Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships at the Xfinity Arena in Everett, Washington. He won the floor exercise event with 14.800 points, beating Japanese Ryosuke Doi (14.150) and Colombian Jose David Toro (13.525), who took the silver and bronze medals, respectively.
Yulo also ruled the vault event with a score of 14.850 points. Taiwanese Alan Siao (14.400) was second followed by Japanese Kanta Amaro (14.150).
In the rings event, Yulo scored 13.525 points to win the silver behind Amaro (13.950). He scored 13.650 points to finish second behind Japanese Kosuke Wakasa (13.750) in the parallel bars. Yulo earned 81.200 points to pocket the bronze medal in the All-Around event behind Japanese Ryoto Sato (82.000) and Wakasa (81.550).
In 2015, Yulo clinched the bronze medal in the juniors (14-18) vault event at the International Junior Gymnastics Competition held in Yokohama, Japan.
The GAP has tapped the services of Kugiyama in 2013 to improve the performance of the Filipino athletes. PNA