SEA Games 2019: Gold medalist Carlos Yulo relishes support from Pinoy crowd
ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 01, 2019 11:13 PM
(Photo: Josh Albelda)
Pinoy gymnast Carlos Yulo was no doubt one of the biggest stars on the first official day of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
The 19-year old was nothing short of impressive in his SEA Games debut, clinching gold in the Men's Individual All-Around category of the Artistic Gymnastics competition, Sunday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila.
Podium finishes are nothing new for Yulo, who recently captured gold in the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany back in October, as well as a handful of bronze medal finishes in the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup.
What made this SEA Games gold a bit sweeter however, was having the full support of the partisan Filipino crowd at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
Yulo secured top-three finishes in each of the six events in the Men's Individual All-Around category en route to the gold medal, and with every flip, every twist, and every landing stuck, the Pinoy crowd cheered Yulo on, wildly.
After completing his final routine on the Horizontal Bar event, Yulo couldn't help but pump his fist in excitement as the fans nearly blew the roof off the modest arena. He too, could feel the energy coming from the crowd.
"Grabe, nakaka-hype. Ako ‘yung kinakabahan," Yulo said of the crowd after the competition. "Maraming-maraming salamat sa support niyo sa amin dito. Grabe, wala akong masabi."
Being able to compete on this level, in front of a Filipino crowd was a different experience for Yulo, whose biggest win so far - his gold medal at the World Championships in Stuttgart - was away from home. Yulo admits that the lack of hype surrounding him in Germany helped in relieving the pressure.
"Actually, it's quite different. Here, like, I'd say the crowd gives more attention to Philippine team. In Germany it's like nobody knows me, so I'm just doing my thing. I'm not even scared."
Now, with the nation's eyes firmly on him during these next few days and presumably for the rest of his career, Yulo hopes that his success and his newfound popularity can help encourage even more aspiring gymnasts to follow in his footsteps and the footsteps of the ones that have come before him.
"I want Philippine gymnastics to build Olympians," he said.
Yulo has the chance to capture even more gold for the Philippines in the coming days, as he's set to compete in six more events in the Men's Gymnastics competition.