Paris etched deep in Yulo’s mind


THE Paris 2024 Olympics will always be the ultimate goal at the end of each training day and each setback and success for newly-crowned world vault champion Carlos Yulo.

“After the disappointment in Tokyo, I promised myself that every time I compete, it will be connected with the Olympics,” Yulo told BusinessMirror on Monday night, a day after he won gold in men’s vault at the 50th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Kitakyushu, Japan.

“So I keep training very hard and trying to be wise to avoid that failure,” he said. “That’s why I am doing my very best everyday—not only in actual competitions but in training—even though it’s hard because I really hate losing.”

Yulo’s world championship campaign in Japan started with a disappointing fifth-place finish in the floor exercise where he was world champion in Stuttgart, Germany, two years ago thus earning a ticket to the Tokyo Olympics.

He was fourth in the vault finals and was outside of the elite circle in the parallel bars in Tokyo. In the Kitakyushu, he qualified at fourth place in vault and was tops in the p-bars thus making him a favorite.

On Sunday afternoon, Yulo was an extremely motivated 21-year-old with his 4-foot-8 physique targeting goliath goals. He did.

The vault gold and p-bars silver medals cemented for him another lofty seat atop the gymnastics world, pushing his dream further and qualifying the Tokyo experience as one dismal performance for an Olympic first-timer who’ll be back four years later all polished and ready to rumble.

“I didn’t have any regrets about my performance last Saturday [floor exercise] because I did my very best, gave my all,” he said. “And there’s nothing I can do about that but to get back and pick up the pieces the following day.”

Just like all his batchmates at Tokyo 2020+1, all 19-strong of them, Paris beckons and Hidilyn Diaz, the country’s first Olympic gold medalist, will always be there serving as a guiding light.

“She inspires us, she motivates us and we look at her as our elder sister,” Yulo said. “Her Olympic journey since 2008 wasn’t easy, that’s why I am super proud of her.”

With gold and silver hanging from his neck, Yulo charted his path to Paris with the Hanoi 31st Southeast Asian Games in May and the Hangzhou 19th Asian Games in September as his next major stops.

“I have to prepare myself as if the competition is tomorrow,” he said. “And that includes the big sacrifice of not having to be with my family.”

Yulo was home in Leveriza in December 2019 when he showed his world-class act live during the SEA Games. He flew to Japan after that to train for the Olympics and never got the chance to come home because of the pandemic.

“I really miss my family, my mom and my father because I haven’t seen them for two years,” said Yulo, who contends himself to regular video calls with mom Angelica, dad Mark Andrew and siblings Jorielgel, Karl Jahrel Eldrew, Elaiza and Andriel.

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