By ADRIAN STEWART CO
Filipino gymnast Carlos Edriel Yulo is returning to the Summer Games after earning qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympics, the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) announced.
The 23-year-old Yulo punched his way back to the Olympics after becoming the highest-ranked eligible athlete in the men’s floor exercise event of the 52nd World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium on Sunday, October 1.
Yulo actually landed in third place in the men’s floor exercise qualifying round with his 14.600 points behind top finisher Artem Dolgopyat of Israel with 15.100 points, and second placer Fred Richard of USA with 14.600 points.
However, since both Dolgopyat and Richard had already qualified for the Paris Games prior to the tournament, Yulo became the next best athlete and was handed his second consecutive Olympics stint.
“Yulo punches his ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympics via a stellar performance at the 2023 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium,” the POC said in a Facebook post on Sunday night.
Yulo, who placed fourth in the vault event during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is the second Filipino athlete to play in the 2024 Paris Summer Games after pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena.
It was actually a nightmarish campaign for Yulo in the tournament as he missed the finals of the all-around event after finishing in 59th place with a total score of 67.765 points from the six apparatus.
Yulo looked on his way to securing one of the 24 all-around final seats after favorable results in the first four apparatuses — 14.666 in parallel bars, 14.6 in floor exercise, 13.7 in horizontal bar, and 13.233 in pommel horse.
However, Yulo struggled on the rings apparatus as he managed just 11.556 points after he fell flat on his back while doing the routine.
He also struggled in the vault after falling anew.
Yulo opted not to participate in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, where he could be a favorite to win a gold medal, as his camp chose to compete in the Paris Summer Games qualifier./ASC, WDJ