OLYMPIC gold medal bet Carlos Yulo already got his first dose of Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 with 17 days to go before the Tokyo Games officially kicks off.
The 21-year-old world champion, according to Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP) President Cynthia Carrion, will be fully vaccinated before competition starts on July 24.
“Three weeks ago… and second dosage is second week of July. The sooner, the better,” said Carrion, appearing in the online edition of the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday.
The gymnastics official said Yulo’s vaccination was made possible by Teikyo University, where the Filipino gymnast is studying, and through the help of Morinari Watanabe, president of the International Gymnastics Federation.
Vaccination for COVID-19 is not a requirement by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for participants in the Tokyo Games.
Nonetheless, the vaccination should give Yulo the added confidence in his bid to give the country a first ever Olympic gold since it began competing in the quadrennial meet in 1924.
Carrion said the Filipino gymnast has been doing very well in training under Japanese coach Munehiro Kugiyama and is very optimistic about his chances of doing good in his first ever Olympic campaign.
“If he does everything correct the way he’s doing it in training, then he’s got the gold,” said the gymnastics chief.
Honest assesment for Carlos Yulo
Yulo is gunning for the gold in the floor exercise, where he actually won the gold medal in the 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany two years ago.
A possible silver medal is being eyed in the vault, while making the finals of the parallel bar is doable, too.
“The only one he’s not doing well is the pommel horse and the rings. So he will not get the apparatus overall, so we’re only working on the individual apparatus,” said Carrion.
The Japan-based Yulo has earlier been asked to be the country’s flag bearer in the formal opening ceremony, but Carrion said they have to beg off as events in gymnastics will start the day after the opener.
“I said no because the next day he has a competition. He has to rest and you know how heavy that flag is for his arms. So I’d rather take his placing into the marching, but not Caloy,” she said.
“He has to rest. We’re doing everything in our power to make him get the gold medal.”