This time around, top Filipino gymnast Carlos Yulo will compete in a full range of six events in the 2022 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Liverpool when it is held from October 29 to November 6.
Preparations have been challenging for Yulo, who expects a tough campaign when he and coach Munehiro Kugimiya head for the United Kingdom on Tuesday.
This means that he will not just focus on the rings, the parallel bars and the vault exercises when he starts his bid to secure a berth in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
He will seek podium in three other events, now that he has added the pommel horse, still rings and high bar to his set of skills.
“Pinag-igihan ko po iyung rings, nag-upgrade na po sa vaults dahil sa new elements, at sa high bar, medyo hirap ako sa practice, dahil nahuhulog ako,” said the 22-year-old Yulo in a Zoom huddle with scribes.
More than 400 gymnasts from all around the world are set to see action in Liverpool, with every gymnast competing to secure a berth in the 2024 Olympiad, and with the top three teams in the men’s and women’s team finals expected to gain five quotas to the games and qualify for the team event there.
Yulo won’t be challenged by athletes representing the Russian Federation and Belarus since the Russians are banned from participating at the championships, which came as a result of the their invasion of Ukraine.
“Masaya ako at nakabalik ako. Last time, nag-focus lang ako sa tatlong events,” added Yulo.
The qualifications at the 2022 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships will be done from October 29 to 31, while the finals are slated from November 1 to 6.
Yulo was on his last day in Paris with Kugimiya as they head for Liverpool, following a five-day training camp.
“Ayos ang preparations. Pero maraming challenges,” added Yulo.
Yulo disclosed that the qualification standard in the individual all-around aspect is quite difficult and for him to make the finals, he has to score at least 85 points.
“Iyung target sa individual all-around, mataas. Medyo struggling ako du’n,” said Yulo.
He starts his bid this Saturday, in the vault and the floor exercises.
On Monday, he will make his bid in the pommel horse, rings, parallel bars and horizontal bar events.
On the other hand, Kugimiya made assurances that Yulo has fully recovered from a minor hand injury.
Yulo hurt two fingers on his right when he captured the men’s floor exercise gold medal and men’s vault bronze in the recent All-Japan Senior Championships.
This made him miss his other events after a bad fall from the horizontal bar.
With Kugimiya and physiotherapist Junpei Kono, Yulo now hopes to surpass his one-gold, one-silver medal output in the 2021 edition of the Worlds held in Kitakyushu, Japan.
“His physical condition is very good. No more problem with his hand injury,” said Kugimiya.
The coach has added an element to Yulo’s set of skills — the addition of the handspring double pipe half turn move in the vault.
Yulo is now seeking to be proficient in a variant of a Ri Se Gwang move in the vault, which consists of a front handspring double piked salto with a half twist.
“He has progressed and he will try this for the first time,” said Kugimiya.