After Manila pit stop, a packed calendar awaits Caloy


Carlos Yulo will have time to spend with family before plunging into another busy year. —AUGUST DELA CRUZ

Carlos Edriel Yulo is on a pit stop here in Manila before embarking on an arduous journey that marks the start of his campaign this year.

After receiving a citation from the Senate on Tuesday, the Filipino gymnastics star will continue to train at the national team’s facility in Intramuros before leaving on Feb. 19 on his way to the first leg of the FIG (International Gymnastics Federation) World Cup series in Cottbus, Germany.

Yulo’s ongoing two-week stay in the country prior to the Feb. 23 to 26 meet will buy him more time with his family, having been in Tokyo, Japan, for most of his training season last year.

It will likewise be a much-needed break from his studies at Teikyo University under a scholarship program provided by the Japan Olympic Association.

“I am proud to have received this citation of recognition (from the Senate). This is not for me, but for Philippine gymnastics,’’ said Yulo.

The 4-foot-11 bundle of energy was recognized by the Senate as one of the best gymnasts the country has produced after clinching the silver medal in the men’s vault and the bronze in the parallel bars during the 51st Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Liverpool, England, last year.

Welcomed by Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz’’ Zubiri, the principal author of Senate Resolution No. 458, Yulo was given a copy of the recognition during the plenary session with Gymnastics Association of the Philippines president Cynthia Carrion along with national teammates Juan Miguel Besana and Justine Ace de Leon.

‘Ability to inspire’

“I have no doubt that many young Filipinos have been inspired to work just as hard, and to pursue their athletic interests just as hard and to pursue just as seriously as Caloy (Yulo’s nickname) does. And this ability to inspire our youth is a great triumph in itself,” said Zubiri.

“We in the Senate are one with the whole country in supporting him as he pursues even greater athletic heights, particularly through his competitions this year, on the road to the Paris Olympics in 2024,” the Senate President added.

Yulo missed the medal podium in men’s vault at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, but the defeat only emboldened him to chase glory in the 2024 Summer Games in Paris.

Just two days after the Cottbus tournament, the World Cup series will travel to Doha, Qatar, on March 1 to 4 for its second leg followed by the third leg in Baku, Azerbaijan, on March 9 to 12 before wrapping up in Cairo, Egypt, on April 27 to 30.

The 22-year-old from Malate, Manila, will skip the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, in September since it runs into conflict with the 2023 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, on Sept. 30 to Oct. 10. The Belgium tournament is a qualifier for the Paris Olympics.

“It’s a battle of hearts in the world championships. You have to be 120 percent ready with a strong mindset,’’ said Yulo. INQ

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