Carlos Yulo doesn’t want to go for glory in the world championships alone anymore.
The Filipino gymnastics darling wants a team to compete in the next staging, the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, that will be held in Antwerp, Belgium, from Sept. 30 to Oct. 8.
And Yulo knows his gold-winning teammates in the recent Southeast Asian (SEA) Games—John Ivan Cruz (floor exercise) and Juancho Miguel Besana (vault)—will need to accomplish one thing first so they can join him in Europe.
“We have to do well in the coming Asian championships if we want to put together a team in Belgium,” said Yulo.
The top five teams in the 2023 Asian Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Singapore from June 10 to 18 will progress to the world championships, a qualifier to 2024 Paris Olympics.
Joining Yulo, Cruz and Besana in the team that claimed a silver at the recent 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia are Jan Timbang and Justin Ace De Leon.
“It would be difficult for the team to qualify, but possible,” said Yulo, who also netted a pair of golds in the men’s all-around and parallel bars apart from a silver in the rings in Cambodia.
The women’s artistic gymnastics team of Aleah Finnegan, Lucia Gutierrez, Kylee Ann Kvamme, Emma Malabuyo and Lucia Manzano will likewise compete in Singapore.
Five more spots
The men’s teams from China and Japan have already qualified to the world event, leaving five more available spots in Singapore open among other competitors, including Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Vietnam and even the Philippines.
“The challenge is big, so I have to help my teammates for us to make it,” said Yulo, who triumphed in the world championships twice.
The 4-foot-11 dynamo ruled the floor exercise during the 2019 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, and the vault in the 2021 global meet held in Kitakyushu, Japan.
Yulo will see action in the individual all-around in the continental championships and could easily book a ticket to the Belgium meet with eight slots available.
“I have to continue working hard, stay focused and healthy in training and during competition,” said the 23-year-old Tokyo Olympian from Leveriza, Manila.Yulo’s individual all-around qualification in the world championships is a crucial step in his journey to the Paris Olympics.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.