Yulo sorely missed in Asiad gymnastics


HANGZHOU—The absence of former two-time world champion and Tokyo Olympian Carlos Yulo was sorely missed in men’s artistic gymnastics as Miguel Besana and Ace de Leon bowed out of their 19th Asian Games campaigns.

Besana and De Leon nursed foot injuries and competed just the same but missed the podium floor exercise and vault—events where Yulo won world titles in 2019 and 2021, respectively—at the Huanglong Sports Centre Gymnasium late Sunday.

“Our boys did their jobs despite their injuries,” said Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP) Deputy secretary-general Rowena Bautista.

“But we still have other gymnasts who will compete here,” she added.

Yulo will compete in the world artistic championships set September 30 to October 8 in Antwerp, Belgium, a Paris Olympics qualifier.

A six-time Asian championships winner and nine-time gold medalist in the Southeast Asian Games, is with GAP president Cynthia Carrion-Norton.

Only nine among the 40 sports in the Hangzhou program—archery, artistic swimming, boxing, breaking, hockey, modern pentathlon, sailing, tennis and water polo—are Olympic qualifiers.

Besana, gold medalist in vault and silver medalist in team all-around in the Cambodia SEA Games last May, was 10th (14.044) in his favorite vault at the Huanglong Sports Centre Gymnasium.

De Leon, silver winner in Cambodia in the team all-around, wound up 13th in vault (13.783) and 23rd in floor exercise (13.000). Only the top eight in each apparatus made it to the finals on Wednesday.

Kursten Rogue Lopez in floor, vault, uneven bars and balance beam; Ancilla Manzano in floor and balance beam; and Samantha Ann Macasu in uneven bars saw action in women’s artistic action late Monday.

“We will keep trying here,” added Bautista, still counting on John Ivan Cruz, Jhon Romeo Santillan, Jan Timbang, Lucia Gutierrez, Emma Malabuyo, Breanna Labadan and Daniela dela Pisa in the days ahead.

Image credits: Nonie Reyes (CANON EOS R6)

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