After watching teammates triumph, Carlos Yulo grabs his second gold – rezal404
Carlos Yulo didn’t have to look far for inspiration as he went on a hunt for a second gold medal.
“I got challenged when [John] Ivan [Cruz] other [Juancho] miguel [Besana] won gold medals,” said Yulo, who only had a silver to show on Tuesday in the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games here in Cambodia before his teammates went on a gold spree.
“I also wanted to get a gold of my own today,” Yulo added.
The two-time world champion went into hyperfocus on the parallel bars, coming up with a solid performance that deserved 14,850 points for the gold—his second in this year’s edition of the biennial meet to become Team Philippines’ first double gold winner here.
Yulo also has two silvers after finishing second in the rings on Tuesday and helping the men’s team finish second on Monday.
Vietnam’s Phuong Thanh Dinh, who pipped Yulo for the gold in the rings, settled for silver behind the Filipino in parallel bars after collecting 14,400 points.
Yulo’s gold was the third of the day for the gymnastics squad. And while he found motivation within reach, Cruz had to dig deep for his.
“Life is hard back in the Philippines, but all the sacrifices and the hardships in training are all worth it,” the teary-eyed 21-year-old Cruz said after ruling the men’s floor exercise for his first individual gold in the SEA Games .
‘Way out of poverty’
A gold is worth P300,000 in government incentives, something Cruz said would be godsend for his family.
“We have nothing and this is our way out of poverty,” said Cruz, who comes from Malate, Manila. “This is my biggest win. I never thought I could reach this. Two years ago, I was forced to stop training with the national team to help my family financially.”
Cruz took the floor ahead of the rest among seven finalists and registered 13,850 points while Thailand’s Tikumporn Surintornta pocketed the silver with 13,800 points. Indonesia’s Joseph Hatoguan finished with the bronze (13,500).
Besana, meanwhile, grabbed the men’s vault gold by scoring 14,425 after two attempts.
“I added to my [degree of] difficulty that’s why my skill level also rose,” said Besana, a 19-year-old sports science major at University of Santo Tomas. “This is for God’s glory and also my sacrifice for the country so we can show other nations that we are good in gymnastics.”
Besana, who started in the sport when he was 4 years old, is hoping to qualify for next year’s Paris Olympics.
Yulo didn’t match his five-gold output in Hanoi last year, but the Japan-based gymnast was still over the moon with the team’s performance here. “I still feel blessed and happy for my teammates because of the medals that we’ve won,” said Yulo.
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