Carlos Yulo to focus on three events in world title defense

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 17) – Filipino gymnastics star Carlos Yulo will focus on three events in his return to the mat this week at the 2021 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Kitakyushu, Japan.

Gymnastics Association of the Philippines President Cynthia Carrion said the 20-year-old is aiming for a finals berth in the floor, vault, and parallel bars events.

Yulo is the defending world champion in the floor exercise, a historic feat he achieved in the last world gymnastics tilt in 2019, where he became the first Filipino to bag a world gymnastics crown.

The vault apparatus is where Yulo almost clinched a medal in his Olympic debut in Tokyo last August. 

"He's going to do three-fold. He wants to win the gold in the floor, maybe silver in vault. In the parallel bars, he aims to be in the finals," Carrion told CNN Philippines in a phone interview on Sunday.

Carrion said Yulo currently excels in the three events, adding that the others rely on shoulder strength, one of the aspects the Filipino gymnast continues to work on.

"He's pumped up now and he's more calm. He really wants to win it," said Carrion, who is now in Japan for the Oct. 18-24 world gymnastics meet.

Yulo will start off his quest in the qualifying round on Oct. 20, where he is in Subdivision 7 along with gymnasts from Italy, Croatia, Uzbekistan, Czech Republic, Finland, and Denmark.

He needs to make it into the overall top eight in the floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars, and horizontal bar competitions to advance in the medal round of each event.

The finals of the floor exercise, pommel horse, and rings are slated on Oct. 23. The medal round of the vault, parallel bars, and horizontal bar will be held the next day.

Yulo will have a chance to compete in the individual all-around finals on Oct. 22, if his total score in the qualifying round meets the required top 24 overall finish for a medal round spot.

He finished in 10th place in the individual all-around finals in the 2019 world gymnastics meet, the youngest in the 24-man field.