Rounding Off: Injury limited Carlos Yulo at World Championships

Plus, Angelina Melnikova explains floor inquiry, Rebeca Andrade honoured as 'Citizen of Rio,' and a look back at Team Ukraine on floor at Athens 2004.

By Scott Bregman
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

History-making Filipino gymnast Carlos Yulo had intended to compete in all six apparatus at last month's World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Kitakyushu, Japan, but an injury to his elbow two months prior limited him to just three events (floor, vault, parallel bars).

"When we were preparing for the routines, two months ago before the world championships, I had an accident at the high bar," Yulo said, according to a report by ABS-CBN News.

"Then my elbow, it hurt a lot, I couldn't straighten it for three weeks. Before we left, it was okay. There are no serious injuries."

Though the injury precluded him from competing the all-around, Yulo still had a historic run at the worlds in Kitakyushu, claiming the title on the vault, his second career gold at the worlds, and a silver medal on the parallel bars.

"I am extremely happy today. I did my best. All the hard work paid off, but still it's not satisfying for me yet," said Yulo moments after the parallel bars final. "I won the gold [on vault] and another achievement for me on the parallel bars, but there is always something more. I want to reach my full potential as a gymnast."

Angelina Melnikova explains floor final inquiry

For a few moments at the recent world championships, 2021 World all-around champion Angelina Melnikova appeared to be headed back to the top of the podium.

When eventual champion Murakami Mai's score originally flashed, she was in second place behind Melnikova. But the Japanese star immediately filed an inquiry into her difficulty score, and, ultimately, her score was raised above Melnikova's.

What wasn't clear at the time is that Melnikova, too, had attempted to file a protest on her score. That inquiry, she says in an interview translated by Gymnovosti, came too late to be accepted.

"The problem was that we didn’t manage to submit the inquiry in time. After the score is posted, we have four minutes to do that," Melnikova explained. "As far as I know, the coaches submitted it but were late by 2 minutes and, accordingly, it was not accepted."

After incredible season, Rebeca Andrade becomes honorary citizen of Rio

Rebeca Andrade, who won gold medals on vault at both the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and the 2021 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Kitakyushu, Japan, will be honoured as citizen of Rio after her golden season.

The 22-year-old was born in Sao Paulo but has lived and trained for the past decade at the Flamengo training center in Rio.

Andrade's road to vault gold has not been easy. Knee injuries kept her out of the 2015, 2017 and 2019 world championships and she was not even qualified for the Tokyo Games until early June 2021.

But none of that seemed to matter once competition got underway. In addition to her vault gold medals, she was the all-around silver medallist in Tokyo and the uneven bars runner-up in Kitakyushu.

"Many people didn't believe in me when I got injured. Today, I'm here to show the world that everything is possible if you chase what you really want," she said after her win at the world championships.

"You can do it if you have people who believe in you. I had all the support, physical and emotional, so I could come back, that was really important."

From the vault...

The women of Team Ukraine compete on the floor exercise during the team final at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. The team, which finished fourth overall, was led in the rotation by Alina Kozich's 9.650 score.

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