Carlos Yulo all set to defend world title in Japan

Published October 17, 2021, 12:56 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

Carlos Yulo (AFP)

Carlos Yulo is all set to defend his title in the 50th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships slated to start on Monday until Oct. 24 in Kitakyushu, Japan.

Yulo, who is already based in Japan for the past years, arrived at the competition venue a few days ago to prepare for his title-retention bid in the floor exercise that he won in 2019 in Stuttgart, Germany.

He also hopes to redeem himself from an unsuccessful campaign at the Tokyo Olympics last August where he failed to advance in the medal round of the said apparatus.

Men’s qualification will be on Tuesday and Wednesday with the all-around final on Friday. Medal round in floor exercise, pommel horse and still rings will be on Saturday, while finals in vault, parallel bars and horizontal bar will be on Sunday.

Some notable gymnasts were surprisingly absent based on the latest lineup dated Oct. 16 provided by the tournament website. Among them were floor exercise Tokyo Olympics champion Artem Dolgopyat of Israel, silver medalist Rayderley Zapata of Spain and China’s Xiao Ruoteng.

Dolgopyat and Ruoteng won silver and bronze behind Yulo in the previous world championship edition.

But the field remains stacked with Japanese athletes such as multiple world champion and Olympic gold medalist Kohei Uchimura, as well as Tokyo Olympics all-around champion Daiki Hashimoto.

Yulo also eyes to make an impact in vault where he finished fourth in the Tokyo Olympics, but he will have his hands full with bronze winner Igor Radivilov of Ukraine on the list.

Aside from Yulo, only two gymnasts are returning to defend their titles: Turkey’s Ibrahim Colak in rings and Brazil’s Arthur Mariano in horizontal bar.

A total of 54 countries are competing in the men’s event that include host Japan, China, Brazil, Israel, Great Britain and Italy, to name a few. Russian gymnasts will compete under the Russian Gymnastics Federation (RGF).