Malabuyo nails bronze, books ticket to Paris

Joey Villar - The Philippine Star
Malabuyo nails bronze, books ticket to Paris
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 06: Emma Malabuyo of the UCLA Bruins competes on floor during a meet against the California Golden Bears at UCLA Pauley Pavilion on March 06, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
Katharine Lotze / Getty Images / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — From scratch, Philippine gymnastics has evolved to a major force in the international scene.

And Emma Malabuyo’s entry to the Paris Olympics following her podium finish in the Asian Gymnastics Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan Friday night was an affirmation of the country’s evolution that started with Carlos Yulo’s emergence to the world stage.

“It’s a dynasty in the making,” an ecstatic Gymnastic Association of the Philippines president Cynthia Carrion told The STAR moments after Malabuyo took the individual all-around bronze and the Olympic quota place.

“Never in the history of Philippine gymnastics has this ever occurred. When I took over, we had no judges, no coaches, no athletes, and had to start from scratch and see what we got here now,” added Carrion, who thanked the support of sports patron Manny V. Pangilinan, the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee.

Malabuyo, 21, garnered a 50.398 total for the bronze that booked her a ticket to the French capital where she will join fellow gymnasts Yulo, Aleah Finnegan and Levi Jung-Ruivivar.

“I’m just so overwhelmed. I’m speechless. I think I’m still shaking just hearing the news. And I’m still like, ‘Is it real?’ Like, I still can’t believe it just because it’s been such a long and arduous path to get here,” said Malabuyo, who served as an alternate for the United States Olympic team thrice.

“I’m in shock and I can’t believe it,” she said.

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