STUTTGART. — Why settle for less when you can be the best?
That will be the mindset of Carlos Edriel Yulo when he guns for the gold medal in the men’s floor exercise finals on Saturday in the 49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships at the Hans Martin Schleyer Halle here.
The talented gymnast savored victory in this gymnastics showcase when he bagged the floor exercise bronze medal during his debut in the previous edition in Doha, Qatar last year.
With more than a year’s experience in training and international exposure, Yulo, 19, is keen on surpassing that outstanding feat in this chilly and hilly German city that is home to former five-time Bundesliga champion Stuttgart FC, which plays at the sprawling Mercedes Benz Arena.
“Gusto ko po talagang maka-gold ngayon. Para sa aking pamilya at kay coach Mune,” the soft-spoken athlete said shortly after he qualified for the event by placing seventh overall in the apparatus with a score of 14.633 points, higher than his bronze-medal score of 14.600 in Doha.
Coach Mune, of course, is none other than Japanese mentor Munehiro Kugimiya, who has been supervising Yulo’s training for over six years now and turned the Pinoy gymnast into the world-class athlete.
The Gymnastics Association of the Philippines protégé showed he has what it takes in his favorite event by securing the gold medal in the opening leg of the Individual Apparatus World Cup last January in Melbourne, Australia.
Yulo said this explains why Kugimiya raised the difficulty rating of his routine from 6.2 to 6.5, the highest among the eight floor exercise finalists, the same rating of Russian defending floor exercise champion Artur Dalaloyan, who placed fifth in the qualifiers with a tally of 14.733 points.
Yulo also has to reckon with the other finalists, including Israel’s Artem Dolgopyat who topped the qualifiers with a tally of 15.033 points.
Dolgopyat, a two-time floor exercise European silver medalist, finished fifth overall in the last world meet in Doha, something that Yulo is well aware of.
Already assured of a ticket in the men’s all-around event in next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games, Yulo will add another event to his Olympic outing should he manage a podium finish on Saturday.
For the newly-minted Olympic-bound gymnast, nothing could be better and satisfactory than a glittering gold medal around his neck at the end of the day.