By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Carlos Yulo showed why he’s one of the finest gymnasts in the world after capturing the floor exercise gold medal in the Asian Senior Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Singapore Saturday, June 17.
The 23-year-old two-time world champion practically dominated the eight-player field with his jaw-dropping performance by scoring 15.300 points – a full point ahead of silver medalist Dimitriy Patanin of Kazakhstan (14.366). China’s Su Weide claimed bronze with 14.333.
Competing with an impressive degree of difficulty score of 6.300 – the highest among the competitors, the Manila native managed 9.000 in execution.
Yulo already lived up to his billing by topping the qualifications Thursday, June 15, with 14.966, but came back with a more fluid routine in the finals to retain his crown in the apparatus, which he reigned supreme in the 2022 Doha edition.
Yulo’s cousin, reigning Southeast Asian Games champion John Ivan Cruz, finished eighth and last with 11.433.
Yulo is expected to collect more mints when he battles in the rings at press time and in vault on Sunday, June 18.
Meanwhile, Fil-American Aleah Finnegan is also competing for the gold medal in vault at press time after finishing second in the qualification Friday, June 16.
The 20-year-old Missouri-born gymnast scored 13.533 behind top qualifier Yeo Seojeong of Korea.
Finnegan, Yulo and another Fil-Am in Kylee Kvamme already booked slots to the World Championships slated in Antwerp, Belgium late September.
The world tilt is one of the qualifiers for the 2024 Paris Olympics where Yulo seeks a second Games appearance.