Young Filipino Gymnast Carlos Yulo Is The Philippines' First World Champion
For the first time ever, the Philippine national anthem was played in the world gymnastics stage after Filipino teen gymnast Carlos Edriel Yulo made a historic mark of winning the Philippines’ first ever world championship gold in gymnastics.
The 19-year-old trailblazer bagged a gold medal in the men’s floor exercise of the 2019 World Artistic Gymnastic Championships late Saturday, 12 October, in Stuttgart, Germany just a few days after claiming his ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Carlos was the second Filipino to secure a berth in the said Olympics after pole-vaulter EJ Obiena.
The young gymnast topped the competition with a score of 15.300, besting Israel’s Artem Dolgopyat (15.200) and China’s Ruoteng Xiao (14.933).
The shy kid turned celebrated teen gymnast’s name has been making rounds not only in the national newsstands but also beyond the Philippine shores because “Caloy”, as he is fondly called, is also the first Southeast Asian male gymnast to capture a gold in the world championships.
Over three years ago, young Caloy reluctantly left Manila to go to Tokyo and continue his intensive training under the tutelage of Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya, who he met when Gymnastic Association of Japan sent him to coach the Philippine team in a gesture of sporting goodwill. The coach saw Caloy’s potential and believed his new ward — who grew up watching national gymnasts at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex — needed better training conditions.
Caloy admitted that the training with Coach Kugimuya, who is known to produce world champion gymnasts, was really difficult but he soldiered on. His determination paved way to his impressive run that last September, he hit another career milestone when he shared the top of the podium with his idol, the seven-time Olympic medalist Kohei Uchimura, in the All Japan Senior Championships.
Undoubtedly, all of his hard work paid off as seen on his golden feat that placed the country under international spotlight. The 4-foot-11 dynamo also hopes that his victory would lead Filipinos to endlessly support and encourage the sport.
The Philippines has been continuously marking its name to the world of sports as many Filipino athletes have been bringing glory and pride to the country through showing their Filipino spirit in different fields, with Caloy as the new addition to the list.
The Olympic-bound young gymnast will stand alongside with weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz who ended the 20-year-drought after boxer Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco’s win in 1996, boxers Roel Velasco, Leopaldo Serantes, Anthony Villanueva among other Olympic medalists if he emerges victorious in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
Caloy is selected to be one of the flag bearers in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games that will be hosted by the Philippines from 1 to 9 December at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila.
Philippine Tatler congratulates Carlos Yulo as well as his chief backers, the PSC and the MVP Sports Foundation, for the momentous win and wishes nothing but best of luck for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics!