Carlos Yulo: "I realised that your greatest opponent is yourself."

The two-time world champion reflects on lessons learned from his disappointing Tokyo 2020.

By Scott Bregman
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Carlos Yulo entered the Tokyo 2020, held in the summer of 2021, with high hopes of becoming the first Filipino to win an artistic gymnastics Olympic gold medal.

But mistakes in the qualifying round in one of his signature events – the floor exercise where he was the reigning world champion – left him out of the medal round.

That experience, he says, has opened his eyes.

“I learned a lot from my experience at the [Tokyo] Olympics,” Yulo said according to Inquirer.net. “I realised that your greatest opponent is yourself. If you don’t focus on what you do, you are bound to finish last.’’

He’s already acted on that lesson. Two months after the Tokyo Games, Yulo went to the World Championships in Kitakyushu, Japan, where he won gold on vault and silver on the parallel bars.

“I try to correct the mistakes that I made in my mind so I will not commit them again,’’ said Yulo.

He will have more chances for medals in what is shaping up a busy season for the 22-year-old who is preparing for May's SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.

"I think I’m already 85 percent ready [for the SEA Games],’’ said Yulo.

After that, his targets are September's Asian Games in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, and then the 2022 World Championships in Liverpool, UK.

“The SEA Games is a stepping stone for the Asian Games, which I have been really preparing for this year, along with the coming World Championships in October," said Yulo.

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