By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Carlos Yulo put on a strong performance and topped the qualifying rounds of two events, including the floor exercise where he is the defending champion, in the 50th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Kitakyushu, Japan Wednesday night.
Determined to make amends after a disappointing showing in the Tokyo Games, Yulo also emerged frontrunner in the parallel bars apart from finishing third in the vault prelims.
Yulo first performed in the vault qualifications where he placed third after scoring14.808. Only Nazar Chepurnyi of Ukraine (14.833) and South Korea’s Yang Hakseon (14.833) did better than Yulo.
Performing with a 5.60 degree of difficulty, the 21-year-old Yulo scored 14.733 on his first attempt and 14.883 on his second attempt.
He was awesome in the parallel bars where he posted 15.566 – 9.166 in execution and 6.400 in degree of difficulty
In the floor exercise?
Well, Yulo was – again – a joy to watch.
Combining power and speed, Yulo leaped and bounced on the way to topping the qualifying event in 15.166 – he got 8.566 in execution and 6.600 in degree of difficulty.
“I want to step up my game. I didn’t want to make the same mistakes,” Yulo said in an interview with FIG Gymnastics.
He was referring to his unsuccessful campaign at the Tokyo Olympics, where he failed to advance to the floor exercise medal round.
The floor exercise final will be on Saturday, while the medal round in vault and parallel bars will be on Sunday.
Among the notable qualifiers in the floor exercise were Tokyo Olympics all-around gold medalist Daiki Hashimoto and Kazuki Minami, who ranked fifth in the 2020 FIG World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan.