Yulo hints on taking ‘break’ after Tokyo stint


TOKYO—Will the sporting world see less of Carlos Yulo for the next three years?

Yulo finished just outside the podium of men’s vault of artistic gymnastics on Tuesday night, missing a possible bronze medal had it not for a slip in his landing in his first of two vaults.

“I was that close, very close,” Yulo, the youngest at 21 and shortest at 4-foot-11 among the eight protagonists at the Ariake Gymnastics Arena, told Filipino reporters. “But it happened and I can do nothing about that anymore.”

Unable to qualify in his pet event, the floor exercise where he was the world champion in 2019, the vault was Yulo’s last chance for a medal in his Olympic debut.

But things didn’t go his way with South Korea’s Shin Jeahwan winning the gold medal, Russian Olympic Committee’s Denis Ablizian settling for the silver and Armenia’s Artur Davtyan snatching the bronze medal.

“It was disappointing because I was doing very well in practice,” Yulo said. “But I wondered why I slipped.”

Yulo’s first vault was a López (roundoff, back handspring with half turn entry and front layout somersault with half twist), failing to land properly with his right leg going out the line. He was near flawless, though, in the second vault with a final-best 14.866—a Dragulescu (a handspring double front with half turn)—for a total 14.716 performance.

Yulo doesn’t plan to go home to their Manila home in Leveriza soon.

“I still have a competition next month, the All Japan Seniors Championships,” he said. “I would love to go home and make up lost time with my family.”

His next journey?

“My next target is Paris [2024]. I want to make myself stronger and better,” he said. “I feel I have something more to show and prove.”

But unlike in his rundown to the Tokyo Olympics, Yulo said he will train clandestinely for Paris.

“Next time, I won’t be joining tournaments,” he said. “I will train by myself until I get stronger and better prepared.”

“I will not give up,” he stressed.

Image courtesy of AP

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