Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya took the blame for Carlos Yulo’s missed opportunity to qualify in the floor exercise finals of the men’s artistic gymnastics at the Tokyo Olympics.
In a lengthy social media post, Kugimiya said he is responsible for everything that has happened in Thursday’s all-around qualification where Yulo missed his chance to advance in his favorite apparatus by finishing 44th. Only the Top 8 in each apparatus will get a shot in the medal round.
Yulo is tipped to win the gold medal in the floor exercise after winning the historic world title in 2019.
“If you want someone to blame, please tell his coach,” Kugimiya said.
“If you want to say criticisms, please say to his coach. He is the one responsible. I am the coach.”
Munehiro added that athletes like Yulo always try their best to achieve their goals and should they make mistakes, it is the coach who is to blame.
But he is not giving up on his young, talented stalwart.
“Caloy is Caloy even through success or failure. One of my proudest gymnasts. The path we have taken may not be easy but I will always be beside him.”
While most people feel bad for the missed medal opportunity, Kugimiya added Yulo feels worse.
Kugimiya, who has been training Yulo in Japan for the past half decade, said if he were not fit to be the national coach for Yulo, he would gladly accept it and give way to others.
The Japanese mentor also said the experience only makes Yulo stronger now and that they are moving forward by focusing on their medal campaign in the vault, where the gymnast earned a berth by finishing sixth in the preliminaries.
“He’s already moving on. Please support and pray for him. Do not give up on him until the very end. Never give up and always go forward,” he said.
Yulo’s mother, Angelica, showed her support to Kugimiya in a separate social media post, saying she is forever grateful for all the support he had given to her son.
“The best coach and the best gymnast, the best therapists of the Philippines. Thank you so much for your hard work. If it weren’t for you, Caloy would not be there,” the elder Yulo said.
“Making him an Olympian is such an honor for us. We owe you big time because we knew that you did your very best.”
The elder Yulo wished Kugimiya and her son the best of luck in their performance on Aug. 2, where Carlos is still in the running to win the country’s first Olympic gold medal.
“Focus on the vault finals. God will make a way. We love you three! Laban!”