Yulo better off staying in Japan

MANILA, Philippines — Gymnastics ace Caloy Yulo will continue training in Japan all the way to the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics in 2021, and is hoping to use the extra year to boost his arsenal.

Yulo has been based mostly in Tokyo since 2015, training under Japanese coach Munehiro Kugiyama, in a program initially intended to prime him up for the 2020 Games.

“If Caloy will return here (Philippines), walang mangyayari (nothing will happen), so he has to be there (Japan). He has to be with the best so that he will improve some more,” Gymnastics Association of the Philippines president Cynthia Carrion told The STAR.

Carrion expects Yulo not only to be as sharp as ever in his pet floor exercise event, where he won the breakthrough gold in last year’s World Championship, but also be a major contender in the vault and parallel bar events in Tokyo.

“With one year extra, we’re not only aiming at the floor. We’re also aiming at the vault and parallel bars. I think he’ll be in the finals of parallel bars, which in the Olympics is a big thing already. In vault, he could be silver, and in floor, he has to be gold,” she said.

One of the concerns for now is getting funding to sustain Yulo’s training program in Japan. Carrion said they would need more than P1 million for the additional year.

“The budget of the PSC (Philippine Sports Commission) is slashed so that’s another issue. We have to find other sources of funding. We’re asking people like MVP (PLDT chairman Manny V. Pangilinan) to help Caloy,” said Carrion. “If Pagcor opens up (soon) they will be a big help to us.”

The 19-year-old Yulo only needs guidance to keep the fire burning until July 2021.

“He’s a little sad (about the pandemic and the Olympic delay) but I told the coach to motivate him more, make him happy,” said Carrion, who herself wants to fly to Tokyo if conditions permit.

The right mental approach, she said, is seeing the postponement as an advantage.

“In a way, it’s better because Caloy can improve more,” said Carrion.

Date: June 14, 2020 | By: Olmin Leyba | Newspaper: Philippine Star | Source: https://www.philstar.com/sports/2020/06/14/2020734/yulo-better-staying-japan