By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Carlos Yulo fell short of defending his floor exercise title in the 50th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships at the Kitakyushu General Gymnasium in Japan Saturday.
Performing with the highest degree of difficulty among the finalists, the 20-year-old scored just 14.566 to settle for fifth place – a victim of a 0.300 deduction when he fell out of bounds midway through his routine.
Italy’s Nicola Bartolini, who came in second behind Yulo in Wednesday’s qualifications, displayed a flawless routine to clinch the crown with a score of 14.800.
Japan’s Kazuki Minami took silver (14.766) followed by Finland’s Emil Soravuo (14.700). Korea’s Ryu Sunghyun finished fourth with 14.600.
Yulo entered the tournament determined to slay the ghost of his failed Tokyo Olympics bid a few months ago and made that intention felt last Wednesday after topping the qualifications with 15.166.
But a costly error shattered his bid in achieving that goal in the event without some big stars like Olympic champion Artem Dolgopyat of Israel, silver medalist Rayderley Zapata of Spain and China’s Xiao Ruoteng.
Still, Yulo’s world championship campaign is not yet over as he competes in two more finals — the vault and parallel bars.
Vault finals will start at 4:25 p.m. (3:25 p.m. in Manila), followed by the parallel bars at 6 p.m. (5 p.m. Manila time).
He will be the first performer in vault and third in parallel bars.
Last Wednesday, Yulo surprised the field by topping the parallel bar qualifications with 15.566 and finishing third in the vault qualifiers with 14.808.