UNKNOWN to many, Carlos Yulo has dumped his Japanese coach. Many were shocked. But, of course.
Munehiro Kugiyama, Yulo’s gymnastics coach for years and trainer as well since Day One of Yulo’s career, has honed the Filipino wonder to win two world championships, a stint in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and 15 gold medals in various international competitions.
Unconfirmed reports say Yulo, 23, has fallen in love and Kugiyama seemed to resent it. The Japanese was quoted as saying the love affair will distract Yulo’s focus.
But apparently, not.
After the split, Yulo went on to clinch a ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games in the recent World Championship in Antwerp, Belgium. Yulo nailed it after skipping the just-ended Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
Our topnotch, hard-nosed sportswriter, Josef Ramos, quoted Cynthia Carrion-Norton as saying, “It’s a long story.”
Norton, the feisty president of the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines, refused to either confirm or deny Yulo’s love affair. She confirmed though that Yulo has “bolted Kugiyama’s training camp in Tokyo” in July and been training at the gymnastics center in Intramuros, Manila, since.
“We already changed Caloy’s coach—and even in the Olympics, it’s no longer Mune [Kugiyama],” Ramos quoted Norton as saying.
By leaving Kugiyama, Yulo lost his scholarship at Tokyo’s Teikyo University where he is taking up Literature. Even Yulo’s Japanese physiotherapist, Junpei Konno, had to be replaced by Hazel Calawod, said Norton.
I’m inclined to believe it was love that triggered this drastic change in Yulo’s journey.
He was willing to lose everything—as “lovers often do”—if only to keep his love.
Ah, when love knocks, all hell can break loose.
As Tina Turner sang it, “What’s love got to do with it?”
THAT’S IT Lusty cheers for Andrea Robles for winning the bronze medal in the recent Indoor World Series Stage 1 in Lausanne, Switzerland! Thank you to my buddy, Federico “Frediboy” Moreno (the proud former Philippine Archery Association president himself), for sharing this blockbuster news to me. Andrea’s spectacular feat made her the first Filipino ever to medal twice in the tough event after having won the gold in the 2019 IWS in Macau. Said Andrea: “I am especially happy with my performance…Been working really hard these past couple of months and I’m glad to see it pay off…Thank you to my family, coach, sponsors, and the Atletang Ayala program for helping me get here. This win is for you.” You, sure, made the country proud, Andrea. More power!