MANILA, Philippines—Carlos Yulo gets one last crack at an Olympic medal in Tokyo when he competes in the final of the gymnastics vault event on Monday.
Yulo, a floor exercise world champion, had already tempered medal expectations for the event, knowing he’s up against world class competition.
In last week’s qualification, Yulo struggled in his routines leading him to miss the final of floor exercise, where he had been favored to win a medal.
“Hopefully he is more relaxed this time,” said Cynthia Carrion-Norton, president of the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines, said of Yulo.
“But watching all the great gymnasts from all over the world could be intimidating.”
Yulo placed 44th out of 64 gymnasts in his pet event in the preliminaries but ended sixth in the vaults scoring 14.733 points to land in the top 8.
The 21-year-old also played poorly in the rings (24th), parallel bars (55th), horizontal bar (63rd), and pommel horse (69th).
Yulo’s road to the vault gold medal, however, won’t be an easy one as he faces top qualifier Shin Jeahwan of South Korea (14.866), Armenia’s Artur Davytan (14.866), and Russian Olympic Committee’s Nikita Nagorney (14.783)
Nagorny already holds a gold medal in the team event and a bronze in the all-around.
Also in the finals are Brazil’s Caio Souza (14.700), Turkey’s Ahmet Onder (14.466), Hongkong’s Shek Wai Hung (14.274), and Spain’s Nicolau Mir (14.133).
But that doesn’t mean Yulo doesn’t stand a chance to pull off a surprise.
“According to Coach Mune, the two top vault athletes are Korea and Turkey with the difficulty of 6.02,” said Carrion-Norton. “Caloy’s difficulty is 5.60. If Shin and Onder earn deductions and Caloy makes a perfect score, we have a good chance.”
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