Aspire Dome proves lucky for Yulo

DOHA: The Aspire Dome, venue of the 12th FIG ART Individual Apparatus World Cup, has turned out to be a happy hunting ground for Filipino gymnast Carlos Yulo.
After becoming his country’s first medal-winner at a World Championships here last October, the 19-year-old topped the men’s floor exercise qualifying chart here on Wednesday.
The Filipino, nicknamed Caloy and developed an interest in the sport at a young age, led the list of eight finalists with 14.600 points.
The performance should give him enough confidence to go for the gold or silver, but Yulo said he was not hoping too much.
“I’m not expecting much from the World Cup here, but I’m aiming for a good performance and a medal,” said Yulo.
After he failed to win a medal at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, (INA) last August, the extremely-talented gymnast has shown a lot of promise since then by winning a bronze at the Doha Worlds in October.
“A lot of things happened at the Doha Worlds. There were a lot of ups and downs, but the good thing is I learned a lot of things which I didn’t know before,” Yulo added.
The World Cup series is offering the chance of direct qualification to the gymnasts for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. But Yulo said that he’s not thinking too much on the Games.
“I’m trying not to think about the Olympics, but hoping that I can compete there,” said Yulo, who won a bronze and then a gold in the first two events of the 2018-2020 FIG Individual Apparatus World Cup series in Cottbus (GER) and Melbourne (AUS).
The Filipino, who is training under Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya in Tokyo for last two years, missed the third World Cup event in Baku (AZE) last week as he was recovering from a chest injury.
The two-day Doha-leg finals start on Friday, and Kugimiya believed that the competition will only motivate the youngster to target an Olympic medal in Tokyo.
“The World Cup Series has boosted his confidence,” said Kugimiya. “It’ll give him a lot of opportunity to fine-tune his weaknesses. Each competition will help him grow with or without success.”