FOR the second straight World Championships, Carlos Yulo succumbed to pressure in the apparatus he was favored to dominate — the floor exercise.
In a heartbreaking performance that was in stark contrast to his master class effort in the same event before Saturday, Mr. Yulo stumbled and fumbled and finished a painful seventh in his pet event of the 51st FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Liverpool, England.
From a magnificent 15.266 in the floor exercise qualifying round and a 15.166 in the first rotation of the individual all-around finals, Mr. Yulo cracked under debilitating pressure and managed just a miserly 13.300 that denied the gold he last won in Stuttgart, Germany three years ago and sent him crashing down to a disappointing seventh.
Giaarnni Regini-Moran snatched the gold out of nowhere with a 14.533 while individual all-around winner Daiki Hashimoto of Japan and another Japanese Ryosuek Doi took the silver and bronze with a 14.500 and 14.266, respectively.
But it could have been Mr. Yulo had the Hanoi Southeast Asian Games quintuple gold winner replicated his spectacular sub-15 effort.
It was like déjà vu of his fifth-place effort a year ago in Kitakyushu, Japan where he had a catastrophic landing.
Only it was worse.
“I am really disappointed, obviously,” said the pocket-sized dynamo from Leveriza, Manila. “Yesterday (Friday) was okay, I hit it. But today (yesterday) I had a feeling that I lost myself.”
The beginning of the end came in the early routine when he couldn’t muster the same energy he had in the qualifiers.
“I didn’t kick like I do in practice. It was a bit too soft. I felt I couldn’t make it, but I tried to correct in on the landing. It was affected by my first tumble, and then it is like a chain, you can’t stop it,” said Mr. Yulo.
Mr. Yulo apologized and vowed to do better in the same event next year.
“I am sorry that I lost, but maybe I will gain experience from here despite my performance. I want to come back stronger next year,” he said.
Mr. Yulo, however, could still redeem himself as he is will shoot for nothing less than a medal in the vault and parallel bars where he was the gold and silver winner, respectively, in Kitakyushu early today.
“I feel a bit down because of what happened, but I’m going to review what I did and build my motivation again,” he said. — Joey Villar