2022 Worlds double medalist Yulo: ‘It was a great challenge and great preparation for next year’

Written by John Crumlish for International Gymnast Online

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Carlos Yulo (PHI)

Carlos Yulo of the Philippines left the recent World Championships in Liverpool with a pair of medals – and dueling emotions.

Yulo, who in 2019 became the first gymnast representing the Philippines to win a world championships title, took silver on vault and bronze on parallel bars in the apparatus finals on the last day of the championships in Liverpool.

The 22-year-old Yulo’s satisfaction with his closing successes offset his distress after mistakes cost him potential medals in the November 4 all-around final and November 5 floor exercise final.

“It was a great challenge for me, and great preparation for next year,” said Yulo after he won silver in the November 6 vault final. “I’m really happy that I made it, even though it’s not gold in the end. It’s really different when you get gold, but it is what it is, and I accepted that.”

Yulo, who won vault gold at the 2021 Worlds in Kitakyushu, incurred a deduction of 0.10 points on the landing of his first vault by stepping sideways into the red zone. His two-vault average score of 14.95 ranked him behind Armenia’s Artur Davtyan’s, who placed first with 15.05.

“I really focused on my first vault,” Yulo said. “The goal was to land it, not to stick it this time. I think I did that on the first vault, but the second was quite a bit lower.”

In the parallel bars final later that day, Yulo earned his second medal of the competition. He scored 15.366 to take bronze behind gold medalist Zou Jingyuan of China, who overpowered the field with 16.166, and silver medalist Lukas Dauser of Germany (15.500).

Yulo, the 2021 world silver medalist on parallel bars, lauded Zou’s preeminence on parallel bars.

“My coach and I couldn’t say anything, we were speechless,” said Yulo of Zou, the reigning Olympic champion on parallel bars. “He’s not human. How he does p-bars is not equal to anyone. To me, he’s like a god.”

2022 World Championships parallel bars medalists: Lukas Dauser (GER), Zou Jingyuan (CHN), Carlos Yulo (PHI)

Born February 16, 2000, in Manila, Yulo is the only gymnast representing the Philippines to win a world championships title. He first accomplished that feat at the 2019 Worlds in Stuttgart, where he captured gold on floor exercise. Yulo earned his second global title at the 2021 Worlds in Kitakyushu, where he took gold on vault.

In Liverpool, Yulo’s two-medal flourish on the last day of the championships followed his earlier performances earlier that showed brilliance as well as flaws.

Yulo qualified for the November 4 all-around final in third place, but mistakes on pommel horse, vault and horizontal bar in the all-around final pushed him out of medal contention. He wound up eighth.

“I am speechless after the six events because I am battling with myself,” said Yulo following the all-around final. “It was really hard. Overall, the experience was really good. I am in the top eight. It’s not bad and is still a big achievement for me. I am happy, but at the same time I am disappointed. I need to fix my mistakes when I get back home.”

Yulo acknowledged that his all-around performance lacked focus, although it still marked his career-best world championships all-around result. He was 23rd all-around at the 2018 Worlds in Doha and 10th all-around at the 2019 Worlds in Stuttgart.

“Today I was having fun as well, and I don’t want to lose myself in the middle of the competition,” Yulo said. “But I kind of did, and it’s kind of my fault as well. I put more pressure on myself.”

Yulo scored 15.266 points on floor exercise in qualifications to enter the November 5 floor exercise final as the favorite for gold, but he sat down on his first tumbling pass in the final to placed seventh with a score of 13.300. Giarnni Regini-Moran of Great Britain took the title with 14.533.

“I cried a lot,” said Yulo of his error in the floor exercise final. “I felt sad. But I have to move on and accept it. I still had two more apparatus (finals) to go. I had a good chance to prove myself. So I can forget what happened, accept it and (move) on.”

After the parallel bars final, Yulo reflected on his Liverpool results with opposing measures of gratification and discontent.

“I can’t believe I’ve been with the best gymnasts in the world,” he said. “I’m very proud, but at the same time I’m not satisfied with what I did.”

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