For Yulo, Russian rival is one to beat

Published July 22, 2021, 4:59 PM

by Tito Talao

Carlos Yulo (Photo from FIG’s Twitter account)

TOKYO — Acrobatic wonder Carlos Yulo may have to dispense with his most potent weapon — the triple back double front move — when he takes the floor in the gymnastics competition of the 2020 Olympic Games on Saturday, July 24, at the Ariake Center.

Cynthia Carrion-Norton, president of the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines, said Thursday that Yulo hurt his foot a little landing too close to the floor’s edge during training two weeks ago and told her he would not be doing the dazzling maneuver, considered the highest skill a gymnast can perform, during his favorite event.

“He could land badly or fall and get disqualified,” said Carrion, who also noted that fatigue may have set in on his prized ward’s physique.

“Caloy looked so tired. Actually, everybody was from all that training,” she said after watching him in practice Tuesday.

“But he was OK in the floor exercise yesterday and the parallel bars. But in the vault, not so much.”

Yulo will compete in the All-Around routines, with an eye at reaching the finals of three events, especially the floor exercise where he won a historic gold in the 2019 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.

Chief competition, Carrion-Norton said, will come from Russian Nikita Nagornyy, the 2019 World All-Around champion.