Olympic disappointment fueled a composed and focused Caloy Yulo in this year’s World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Fukuoka.
The Tokyo Olympian showed up big time and booked his qualification in all of three apparatuses he entered in, including his shot at the title defense on floor exercise and a huge surprise in the parallel bars. The two-day qualification round ended on Wednesday at the Kitakyushu General Gymnasium, Kitakyushu City, Japan.
“I wanted to step up my game,” Yulo said. “I didn’t want to make the same mistakes.”
The Filipino champion showed minimal – if not negligible – mistakes in all of the routines the Filipino champion on three apparatuses: the floor, the parallel bars, and the vault. That then earned him a place in the top eight of each of them and thus setting him up for the finals in the said apparatuses.
Yulo bagged a shot at a second consecutive championship on the floor after topping the qualifiers with 15.166, fueled by a huge 6.600 difficulty score. He also leveled up his skills from that 2019 title run.
The 21-year-old gymnast started off strong with his signature double-twisting double layout off a high amplitude, and from there nailed all of his tumbling passes. His non-acrobatic skill – his usual take on the handstand – was stable as well, meriting him a solid 8.566 on execution.
Nonetheless, it was his stunning routine in the parallel bars that was the highlight of the night.
A whopping total score of 15.566 saw Yulo snatch the leadership from two Chinese gymnasts in Zhang Boheng and Hu Xuwei, who scored 15.300 and 15.233.
The SEA Games silver medalist on the said apparatus stepped up his skills several notches higher, with his combination of slow and fast elements earning him the highest D score at 6.400. His near-perfect performance likewise scored a hefty 9.166.
Completing the sweep, Yulo found himself in his second major finals on vault with an average of 14.808 and in third place.
The Filipino standout almost made the podium of the said apparatus in Tokyo and made his case once more after his usual vaults of Kasamatsu and Dragulsecu saw him score 14.733 and 14.883, respectively.
Yulo will stake his world title on Saturday in the apparatus final of the floor exercise at 4:10 PM (3:10 PM, Philippine time).
He will then try to consolidate the success when he takes on the medal rounds of the vault and parallel bars on the following day.