By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Carlos Yulo starts his bid for multiple gold medals Friday when the men’s artistic gymnastics fires off in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The two-time world champion aims to eclipse his two-gold, five-silver medal finish in the 2019 edition when the qualifying rounds in individual apparatus get underway at the Quang Ngua Sports Palace.
Also competing for final spots are Jan Gwynn Timbang and Juancho Miguel Besana Eserio.
Yulo, Timbang and Eserio are also joining forces with John Ivan Cruz, Justine Ace De Leon and John Matthew Vergara for the men’s team event.
Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP) President Cynthia Carrion is optimistic of her gymnasts to deliver eight to nine gold medals, including four in men’s artistic gymnastics.
Yulo arrived with the bulk of the Philippine delegation Tuesday, including his Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya. This gave the 22-year-old enough time to train and acclimatize being based in Japan for the past several years.
The women’s artistic gymnastics is scheduled on Saturday with Ancilla Lucia Mari Manzano, Lucia Gabriel Gutierrez, Kursten Rogue Lopez and Aleah Finnegan Cruz vying in the individual all-around.
Men’s and women’s apparatus finals will be on Sunday and Monday.