Carlos Yulo’s Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya came out to defend the Philippines’ world champion gymnast when he failed to qualify for his pet event, the men’s floor exercise, last Saturday, July 24.
“Caloy is Caloy. [Even in successes and failures], he’s one of my proudest gymnasts,” wrote Kugimiya on Facebook on Monday, July 26.Kugimiya revealed that Yulo was just as disappointed as Filipino fans when he only mustered a 13.566 finish in the floor exercise qualifiers and failed to make the top eight finalists in the Tokyo Olympics men’s artistic gymnastics.
Yulo claimed the world championship gold in 2019 in the men’s floor exercise.Though the Japanese coach took the blame for Yulo’s performances in his social media post, he assures Filipino fans that the whole team is moving forward to focus on the men’s vault final on Monday, August 2, 5:30 pm, Philippine time.
“[He is already moving] forward now… I promise this experience [will] make him stronger than now,” added Kugimiya.
“Do not give up until the very end. NEVER GIVE UP AND GO FORWARD ALWAYS.”The 21-year-old Filipino clinched a sixth place finish overall in the vault qualifiers with a 14.712 score, allowing him to vie for an Olympic gold in the event.
He is also currently recovering from a hip injury that became a major reason for his hampered performance in the Tokyo Olympics.
Yulo, who became the Philippines’ most bemedaled athlete in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games with two golds and five silvers, has been training with Kugimiya since 2013.The Japanese first met Yulo when he came to the Philippines to help the gymnastics program.The 4-foot-11 dynamo then started training with Kugimiya in Tokyo since 2016 as the coach pursued studies in sports management in Teikyo University, where Yulo is studying as well.