Still less than 100%, Carlos Yulo vows to show ‘how good we are’
PHNOM PENH—Carlos Yulo is no stranger to encountering a myriad of difficulties every time a high stakes tournament crops up.
But the Filipino gymnastics darling assured that a recent foot injury won’t spoil his show in the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games and that he has no plans of slowing down.
“I think I’m about 85-90 percent healed,” said Yulo, who hurt his left ankle that forced the 23-year-old fireball to pull out of the Artistic Gymnastics Apparatus World Cup in Cairo, Egypt, recently.
Since Yulo captured the most medals for the country the past two versions of the SEA Games, the injury is a cause for concern.
“I can still feel the pain once in a while, but I guess I’ll be okay,” said Yulo, who can win just a total of four gold medals because of restrictions on multiple events an athlete could play that was enforced by the host nation.
The golden find from Leveriza, Manila, won five individual gold medals last year in the Hanoi, Vietnam, edition. This time, the host country made sure that feat won’t be replicated.
Yulo’s events will be confined in the individual all-around, parallel bars, horizontal bar and men’s team event.
National coach Reyland Capellan, however, pointed out that he could still see action in the finals of another apparatus, say in the floor exercise, once Yulo’s teammates don’t fare well in the qualification round of the event.
Yulo is still the nation’s topnotch bet on the floor, having ruled the event in the 2019 world championships in Stuttgart, Germany.
“I haven’t tried the floor for the past two-and-a-half weeks. I can land well, but I can feel a slight pinch in my foot when I kick,” said Yulo, who made a pitstop in Manila before joining the team bound for the Cambodian capital.
“That’s how I feel on the floor. I don’t have a problem with the other apparatuses,” he added.
Joining Yulo in the team event are John Ivan Cruz, Jhon Romeo Santillan, Jan Gwynn Timbang, Juancho Miguel Besana, Justine Ace de Leon, all of whom will be assigned with specific apparatuses where they will compete in the qualification rounds.
Cambodia organizers have put restrictions that limit gymnasts to perform only in two apparatuses during the men’s artistic discipline on May 6 to 9 at the Marquee Tent of the Olympic Stadium Centre.
“I won’t be able to duplicate my performance (last year). Despite the restrictions, I want to show how good we are,” said Yulo, pleased that Manila and Phnom Penh share the same steamy weather at this time of the year.
“My target is to win the all-around and the team. That’s where we will pour our efforts,” added Yulo.
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