Carlos Yulo fell short of defending his floor exercise title in the 50th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships at the Kitakyushu General Gymnasium in Japan Saturday.
Performing with the highest degree of difficulty among the finalists, the 20-year-old scored 14.566 to settle for fifth place after getting a 0.300 deduction from falling out of bounds midway through his routine.
Without that deduction, Yulo could have retained his title.
Italy’s Nicola Bartolini, who came in second behind Yulo in Wednesday’s qualifications, displayed a flawless routine to clinch the crown with a score of 14.800.
Japan’s Kazuki Minami took silver with 14.766 while Finland’s Emil Soravuo won bronze with 14.700.
Korea’s Ryu Sunghyun finished fourth with 14.600.
Completing the finalists were Japanese Kaya Kazuma, who finished sixth with 14.533, followed by Kazakhstan’s Karimi Milad with 14.333 and Great Britain’s Hayden Skinner with 14.100.
Kazuma actually replaced multiple Olympic gold medalist Daiki Hashimoto, who earlier withdrew from the competitions.
Yulo entered the tournament determined to slay the ghost of his failed Tokyo Olympics bid a few months ago and made that intention felt last Wednesday after topping the qualifications with 15.166.
But a costly error proved crucial in achieving that goal, even without the presence of notable gymnasts such as Olympic champion Artem Dolgopyat of Israel, silver medalist Rayderley Zapata of Spain and China’s Xiao Ruoteng.
Still, Yulo’s world championship campaign is not yet over as he competes for two more world titles Sunday in vault and parallel bars.
Vault finals will start at 4:25 p.m. (3:25 p.m. in Manila), followed by the parallel bars at 6 p.m. (5 p.m. Manila time).
He will be the first performer in vault and third in parallel bars.
Last Wednesday, Yulo surprised the field by topping the parallel bar qualifications with 15.566 and finishing third in the vault qualifiers with 14.808.