June 24, 2017, 3:06 am
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Yulo bucks hurting ankle,  gains final

BANGKOK. – Bucking pain on his injured left ankle, Carlos Yulo performed grittily on Wednesday to qualify for the boys parallel bar individual finals of the 14th Asian Junior Artistic Gymnastics Championships at the Nimibtur Gymnasium here.

Still doubtful just a few hours before the start of competition, Yulo somehow managed to play on his gimpy ankle that he twisted badly in practice last Tuesday and scrambled into the finals of the parallel bars after a fifth place finish with a score of 13.45 points.

Only the top eight finishers in each apparatus of the team and individual all-around competitions qualify for their respective individual events in the finals, with the Pinoy bet getting a three-day respite before competing anew in the final day of the competition on Sunday.

“Buti na lang po naka-qualify maski masakit ‘yong ankle ko. Mukha nga pong lumala pa pero susubukan ko pong pagbutihin sa Linggo,” said the brave diminutive dynamo known in the local gymnastics community as the “Tiny Twister.”

Bad dismounts on the rings and pommel horse left the protégé of the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines out of the running in those events.

Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya decided that Yulo skip the high bar, floor exercise and vault events so as not to put too much weight on his injured ankle, a decision that served the gymnast well.

“We are grateful that Caloy (Yulo) was able to qualify for the finals of at least one individual event despite his sprained ankle,” said GAP secretary general and national team delegation head Bettina Pou. “It was a courageous thing, what he did.”

Seeing action at the opening of the 7th Asian Senior Artistic Gymnastics Championships Thursday featuring the team and individual all-around competitions were the national women’s squad led by Singapore Southeast Asian Games veterans Cristina Onofre and Rachel Arellano.

Also with the team were Erin Evangelista, Mariana Hermoso and Filipino-American Kaitlin de Guzman, the daughter of former Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Cintamoni de Guzman.

The national men’s squad composed of Singapore SEA Games floor exercise champion Reyland Capellan, Jag Timbang and Adrian Apuyan will see action Friday in the men’s team and individual all-around finals.
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