Gymnastics in the Philippines enjoyed a fairly huge success during the 80’s when Bea Lucero became the darling of the sport because of her ability and charisma.
Lucero was so popular she even became an endorser of a powder energy drink that showcased her talent as a superstar gymnast which also helped in making their sport quite known to Filipinos.
Gymnastics eventually hibernated when Lucero shifted to taekwondo, until a teenage sensation, Carlos “Caloy” Yulo emerged and won several tough international tournaments.
This is why Gymnastics president Cynthia Carreon is radiating confidence about Yulo becoming the next superstar of Philippine Gymnastics.
“He is going to be because he is kinda cute, everybody wants to take photos of him. You should see him in Doha, all the Japanese girls were taking selfies with him. A Chinese guy went to him and gave him a shirt. He’s very simple, humble and I told him don’t let it get to your head,” said Carreon.
Recently in Qatar, Yulo achieved a historic feat when he became the first-ever Southeast Asian male competitor to win a medal in the 2018 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships na ginanap sa Doha, Qatar.
The diminutive Yulo, making his debut in the prestigious event, scored 14.600 in his routine, good enough to bag the bronze medal and join gold medal winner Artur Dalaloyan of Russia and Shirai Kenzo of Japan at the podium.
Kenzo won a gold (team event) and bronze (vault event) medals in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil while Dalalovan is a four-time European champion.
Carreon said Yulo’s performance has been so good that a number of foreign coaches and well-known gymnastics personalities have approached them and offered to help the 18-year-old gymnast’s aim of campaigning in the 2020 Tokyo, Olympics.
“I’ve never seen a boy who is so focused and so passionate about the sports. When he was competing as a junior, you can see, he doesn’t pay attention to the crowd,” said Carreon “That’s what he wants to do because I have gymnasts in the Philippines. They are fantastic in Manila but when they go up abroad, wala na, they fall apart.”
Carreon believes Yulo ha what it takes to take home a medal in the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Games.
“In the Olympics, I will make sure he will win at least silver but I want the gold,” assured Carreon.
(D. Principe, mb.com)