Gymnast Yulo gets PSC incentive for winning bronze in Qatar

PINOY PRIDE. Gymnast Carlos "Caloy" Yulo (left) receives a check worth PHP250,000 from Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner Celia Kiram during a press conference at the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP) training center inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Malate, Manila on Friday (Dec. 28, 2018). The amount is the incentive for Yulo's bronze medal at the world championships in Qatar last February. (PNA photo by Jess Escaros)

MANILA — The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) on Friday awarded a PHP250,000 incentive to Carlo “Caloy” Yulo for winning the bronze medal at the 48th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, held at the Aspire Academy Dome in Doha, Qatar from October 25 to November 3.

Yulo, the youngest among the competitors, tallied 14.600 points to finish third behind Russia’s Artur Dalaloyan (14.900) and Japan’s Kenzo Shirai (14.866).

PSC Commissioner Celia Kiram handed over the check to Yulo during a press conference at the gymnastics training center inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

The PSC Board has approved the PHP250,000 cash incentive for being the first Filipino and first from Southeast Asia to win a medal in the tournament.

“On behalf of the PSC, I would like to thank Caloy. You are truly a pride of the Philippines,” said Kiram. “The PSC will continue to support you.”

The 18-year-old Yulo, who has been training in Japan under Munehiro Kugiyama since 2016, is hoping to qualify in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“I am doing my best to achieve that goal,” said Yulo, who is back in the country to spend the holidays with his family.

While there are only 50 slots allotted in the men’s individual quota for the all-around and six apparatus events, Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP) president Cynthia Carrion is confident that Yulo can get the needed points for his Olympic bid.

The Qatar tournament is one of the qualifying tournaments to earn a slot in the Tokyo Olympics. Yulo is scheduled to join the Individual Apparatus World Cup in Melbourne, Australia in February and the Artistic Gymnastics Individual Apparatus World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan in March.

“He (Yulo) is strong and determined. He will do everything to win,” said Carrion, who also expressed her optimism on Yulo’s medal chances in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

“Our bronze medal in Qatar proved to the world that with proper training, conditioning and care for an athlete’s welfare, we can be comparable to the world’s best,” she added.

“What we have achieved at this point is equally credited to the full training support of the MVP Sports Foundation and its chief executive officer Manuel V. Pangilinan, and the Philippine Sports Commission headed by chairman Butch Ramirez. Caloy’s being part of the Olympic Solidarity program of the Philippine Olympic Committee has helped him as well. Certainly, this is not to undermine the great efforts and winning techniques that his coach Munehiro and therapist Jumpei Konno contributed to readying him for the world stage,” Carrion further said.

She also noted her good relationship with Morinari Watanabe, president of Federation Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG), which is the sport’s world-governing body.

“For us (GAP) that could not afford to fund a high-performance training, I needed to establish good relationships with the FIG president. We needed to be extraordinarily resourceful, thus my good relationship with our international federation president completed the picture of struggles that is able to bring us to where Caloy is in today,” Carrion said. (PNA)