MANILA, Philippines — It’s a challenging but surmountable grind for gymnast Caloy Yulo in the coming Tokyo Olympics as he sets to capture the gold in floor and at least the silver in vault with the added goal of making it to the final in parallel bars. Gymnastics Association of the Philippines president Cynthia Carrion said yesterday Yulo, who turns 21 on Feb. 16, is booked to compete in three World Cup events in Cottbus, Germany, on Feb. 25-28, Baku, Azerbaijan on March 4-7 and Doha, Qatar on March 10-13 as a prelude to the Olympics.
“We’re counting on Caloy in floor and vault but if he qualifies for the final in parallel bars, who knows, it could be another medal,” said Carrion, newly-elected POC treasurer. “We received an invitation for two gymnasts to try out for Olympic slots but we decided to just focus on Caloy and restart training to prepare for the next SEA Games in Vietnam where there will be 14 gold medals at stake in gymnastics. We’re grateful to PSC and MVP Sports Foundation for supporting Caloy. MVP gave us P800,000 for Caloy’s schooling in Teikyo University and P1.8 million even before he became world champion in 2019. MVP took a gamble on Caloy when no one wanted to sponsor him. PSC allocated P3 million to prepare Caloy for the Olympics and MVP another P700,000 to get our national pool ready for the SEA Games.”
Carrion arranged for the pool of 13 athletes to train at a fully-equipped gym on the third floor of the Green Sun building on Chino Roces Avenue, Makati. The 1,500-square meter facility has 16 LED floodlights and a complete set of apparatus. It will be inaugurated with a blessing tomorrow afternoon. Carrion said aside from Yulo, no gymnast is in line for Tokyo so the pool won’t train at the Inspire Sports Academy bubble in Calamba.
“We went everywhere looking for a place to train,” she said. “We finally found a space in Green Sun. We’re paying P5 million a year with PSC taking care of P3 million so we’re still short of P2 million. We spent about P1 million for the LED lights and equipment. We’ve received clearance from PSC and IATF for our health/safety protocols. Our athletes will do a strict closed-circuit system, going from home to Green Sun to home. Males will train separate hours from females. Right now, five males and a coach are staying in a condo in Greenbelt but we’re hoping to move them into a three-bedroom place in Ecology Village near Green Sun. We’re negotiating a rent of P30,000 a month. Two of our five elite girls are in the US and there are five more girls in rhythmic.”
Two males in the pool are two-time SEA Games gold medalist Reyland Capellan and Yulo’s younger brother Karl Eldrew. Capellan, 27, recently un-retired to return to training after trying out coaching. Eldrew, 13, bagged five gold medals at the 2019 Palarong Pambansa and is a rising star. “We’re excited about our developmental gymnasts,” said Carrion. “Victor Ye Lie, a Chinese acupuncturist and a former gymnast, volunteered to coach our athletes thrice a week and he’s working wonders. One of our developmental gymnasts could do a handstand only for a minute, now it’s up to 11 minutes. In the long term, we plan to set up regional training centers. That’s something Caloy’s coach Munehiro Kugimiya has in mind.”
Date: January 13, 2021 | By: Joaquin Henson | Newspaper: Philippine Star | Source: https://www.philstar.com/sports/2021/01/13/2070077/lofty-goals-yulo/amp/