Gymnastics: Yulo claims Philippines’ first-ever gold at worlds

(Reuters) – Carlos Edriel Yulo became the first ever Filipino gymnast to win a gold medal at the world championships, edging Israel’s Artem Dolgopyat in the floor exercise final in Stuttgart on Saturday.

Artistic Gymnastics – 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships – Men’s Floor Final – Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle, Stuttgart, Germany – October 12, 2019 Silver medalist Israel’s Artem Dolgopyat, gold medalist Philippines’ Carlos Edriel Yulo and bronze medlaist China’s Xiao Ruoteng pose for a photo during the medals ceremony REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

Yulo, the youngest competitor in this year’s event at 19, consistently posted controlled landings to post an impressive score of 15.300 points – 0.1 more than second-placed Dolgopyat.

Raising the degree of difficulty from 6.2 to 6.5 paid dividends for Yulo as he outperformed Dolgopyat, who came into the final as the top qualifier.

“Last year, I was looking at my medal and I was like, ‘I will get the gold medal next year,’” Yulo said.

“(Looking at it now) It’s ridiculous. I don’t really know. I didn’t expect to win this medal. I’m very happy right now.”

China’s Xiao Ruoteng followed a disappointing fourth-place finish in Friday’s all-around final by claiming the bronze medal.

Tokyo-based Yulo improved on last year’s bronze medal, which made him the first Filipino ever to occupy a podium spot at the championships.

Yulo is enjoying a memorable week in Stuttgart, having punched his ticket for next year’s Tokyo Olympics with an 18th-place finish in the all-around qualifying.

Little over two hours after Yulo tasted glory, Ibrahim Colak struck gold in the rings final to hand Turkey their first-ever medal at the championships.

Colak earned a 14.933 to hold off a spirited challenge from Italy’s Marco Lodadio, who finished just 0.033 of a point behind.

“I’m so happy for this. I don’t know what can I say but I did,” Colak said. “Also, I have tickets for the Olympic Games now. This is will be the first time for me.”

France’s Samir Ait Said took the bronze medal, three years after he suffered a horrific leg break at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris and Pritha Sarkar

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