By Kristel Satumbaga
Carlos Yulo gifted his hometown with three more silver medals on Wednesday night in the men’s artistic gymnastics of the 30th Southeast Asian Games at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
Performing before the packed crowd that included his family and friends, the 19-year-old sensation settled for runner-up finishes in vaults, parallel bars and horizontal bar to end his debut campaign in the biennial meet with two gold and five silver medals.
He scored 14.700 in the vault behind champion Agus Prayoko of Indonesia (14.734), 14.600 in parallel bars behind winner Dinh Phuong Thanh of Vietnam (14.800), and 13.667 in horizontal bar behind gold medalist Dinh (13.767).
Yulo’s two gold medals came from Sunday’s individual all-around and Monday’s floor exercise, the same two events that qualified him to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
His other silver medals were from pommel horse and still rings.
Yulo’s parents, Mark and Angelica, couldn’t be prouder of their son’s latest achievements despite falling short of most people’s expectations of a seven-gold sweep.
“Sobrang happy na nakita ng mga kababayan niya na mag-compete siya. Talagang napabilib naman sila,” Angelica said.
“Nakakakaba, pero nakakatuwa din,” said Mark of hearing people chanting ‘Yulo! Yulo’ after Carlos’ every performance.
Yulo is expected to return to Japan to resume his training and studies, and will be back for the holidays to spend time with his family.
Yulo carved his name in history books as the first Filipino and male Southeast Asian to become a world champion after topping the floor exercise at the 49th FIG World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany last October.