Carlos Yulo emerged victorious during the 49th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships last Saturday in Stuttgart, Germany. This is the Philippine’s first ever gold medal in the international competition.
He achieved a total score of 15.3 in the men’s floor exercise final. Second place was Israel’s Artem Dolgopyat with 15.2 points, while China’s Xiao Ruoteng finished third at 14.93 points.
The 19 year old became the second Filipino to qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics, after garnering a score of 82.164 points in the all-around event.
Carlos previously secured the Philippine’s first ever podium finish in the 2018 Gymnastics World Championships. He won bronze also in the men’s floor exercise.
“Hindi na po naming naabangan sa YouTube, kasi hindi po naming expect na mananalo si Caloy,” said Angelica Yulo, the mother of Carlos.
She explains that a call from Coach Ricardo Ortero roused her from her sleep, and announced the historic news. Ortero was then in Singapore, training the rest of the gymnastics national team for the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
A champion from humble beginnings
Carlos started training along with a group of other young gymnasts at the Paraiso ng Batang Maynila, a public park near Manila Zoo.
His mother explains that the group went to Rizal Memorial and saw the national gymnasts in training. The coach of the team during that time immediately invited the boys to show of their skills.
At 7 years old, Carlos was the only one who continued to pursue gymnastics. He finished high school at Adamson University, courtesy of the national gymnastics association.
Carlos was convinced to train in Japan in 2013. He has been based in Japan ever since, and has been training ever since with Coach Munehiro Kugimiya. The Japanese coach has transformed him into a world-class gymnast with an eye on the Olympics.
Carlos sees this victory as the springboard to confidently confront the Olympics next year, as he is motivated to work harder to bring home more glory for the country.