TOKYO – Carlos Yulo’s best shot at a Tokyo Olympics gold medal slipped away on Saturday when he struggled in his floor exercise routine in the artistic gymnastics qualification phase at the Ariake Gymnasium.
The stocky Manila-born gymnast had missed landings in his routine early and never really got his bearings in the same discipline where he won the gold medal at the world championships just two years ago.
Yulo stood in 44th place in a field of 64 with a 13.566 score – well outside the Top 8 that would make it to the finals in the apparatus.
"Ewan ko po ano nangyari," Yulo told Filipino mediamen as he walked out of the floor, visibly shaken but still smiling before reporters.
"Preparado naman po ako. At hindi naman ako kinakabahan. Medyo [ninenerbiyos] lang, doon sa una kong event. Pero tama lang."
Israel’s Artem Dolgopyat led the field with a 15.2.
Yulo, though, qualified for the vault finals after finishing sixth with a 14.712 score, although the Filipino hope himself admitted he would be a longshot in the finals.
The Pinoy gymnast finished 63rd in the horizontal bar with a score 12.300, 55th in the horizontal bars (13.466), 24th in the rings (14.00) and 69th (11.833) in the pommel horse.
The sub-par pommel horse performance was understandable, having done it just moments after the poor floor exercise routine.
As a result, he never came close to reaching the all-around finals, finishing 47th in a field of 62 starters with a 79.931 total.
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