With two gold and silver medals, Carlos Yulo is the most bemedaled athlete so far in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV
SEA Games darling Carlos Yulo moves to next target: Olympic gold
Olmin Leyba (Philstar.com) - December 6, 2019 - 11:14am

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino gymnastics world champion Carlos Edriel "Caloy" Yulo sets out to bring his act to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after dazzling compatriots with his jaw-dropping two-gold, five-silver showing in the Southeast Asian Games.

Yulo, the most bemedaled athlete in the ongoing SEAG so far, celebrates his triumphant homecoming briefly then flies back to Japan to continue his rigid training under Japanese drillmaster Munehiro Kugimiya in the next months leading to the Olympiad there.

The 19-year-old Yulo qualified for the Tokyo Games when he placed 18th overall in the men's all-around qualifiers of the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships last October in Stuttgard, Germany, where he won a historic gold medal in the floor exercise event.

With his international success, expectations on Yulo run high, with people considering him as bright prospect for the gold.

"Target po pero para sa akin po target ko is ibigay ang best performance ko. Kung pagkatapos ng routine masasabing satisfied ako, I think gold na po iyun (It's a target but I also aim to give it my best performance and if at the end of my routine I'm pretty satisfied, then I consider it a gold medal performance already)," Yulo said in a chat with select media at World Trade Center.

Gymnastics Association of the Philippines president Cynthia Carrion, whose efforts to muster resources to send young Yulo to Japan for training is paying off, said the association will go all out to prepare him for the tough mission.

"We've concentrated on Caloy because I saw that he's really the one to support all the way. The Gymnastics Association supported him and promoted him so we can get funding so that he can continue to train in Japan and study at the same time.

"And of course now, we're concentrating only in the Olympics; we want to forget everything else, all the other things, only the Olympics," said Carrion.

Yulo put on a show for a throng of Filipino supporters in his SEA debut at Rizal, treating them to a gold-winning performance in the individual all-around and later in his pet event, the floor excercise. The Manileno vied for more mints in the pommel horse, vault, still rings, horizontal bars, and parallel bars but fell short and settled for the silver medals.

"Hindi po ako nag-eexpect ng medals sa lahat ng competitions, just giving my best sa lahat - mapa-worlds, SEA Games (I don't aim for medals in every competition, be it the world championships or the SEAG. It's just about giving my best," he said.

He was pleased with the presence of a huge roaring audience but admitted feeling the pressure at the loud gym.

"Sobrang saya, tsini-cheer ng mga Filipino. Sobrang ingay nga po, sobrang nakakakaba po (So good to see Filipinos cheering. The venue's so loud it made me nervous)," said Yulo.

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