Carlos Yulo may not be able to perform his most essential skill at the Olympic Games after suffering a bruise on his right hip during training at the Ariake Gymnastics Center in Tokyo, according to Cynthia Carrion, president of the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP).
Fortunately, Carrion promised, “He is fine.”
Yulo, however, cannot do the triple back, which Carrion describes as a gymnast’s “highest skill.” The gymnastics official had thought that Yulo would win the gold medal in the floor exercises if he executed the tricky move.
“He’s already got the triple back… (if he) lands that very well, he’s got the gold. Nobody can get that. That’s the top skill,” Carrion stated this earlier this month at the Philippine Sports Association (PSA) Forum.
Yulo suffered a bruised hip while performing the skill, according to Carrion, adding that the injury happened two weeks ago.
“In one of his tries, he got too close to the floor and got injured for that skill,” she explained. “He is good to go for the rest of his skills. (This) will not affect his other skills.”
Yulo, according to Carrion, has the potential to win two medals in the Tokyo Olympics: a gold in the floor exercises and a silver in the vault.
Russia’s Nikita Nagornyy is likely to be Yulo’s top competitor in the floor exercises, his favorite event. The 24-year-old Nagornyy earned the all-around gold at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart, the same competition where Yulo topped the floor exercises and secured his place in the Tokyo Games.
Despite the setback, Carrion is optimistic that Yulo will win a historic gold medal for the Philippines.
“If he’s able to do the triple back, he’s 101% sure going to get the gold medal. But he’s not gonna do it because of the injury. So now, he only has a 98, 99% chance to get the gold medal,” said Carrion.
Men’s artistic gymnastics qualifiers will begin on July 24 at the Ariake Gymnastics Center.