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Yulo reaches floor exercise final, but parallel bars title defense in jeopardy

MANILA, Philippines, March 8 ------ Carlos Yulo opened his campaign in the Baku, Azerbaijan leg of the 2024 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Cup Series, with good news and bad news. Yulo advanced to the final of his pet event floor exercise, although he is in danger of yielding the parallel bars title he won last year in the same World Cup. 


Back in competitive action for the first time since the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in October, Yulo netted 14.5 points in the parallel bars qualification, a mark only good enough for ninth place. Yulo ended up in a tie with Kazuki Matsumi, but the Japanese posted a higher execution score, 8.6-8.2, to clinch the eighth and last final-round spot. 


China’s Zou Jingyuan, the reigning Olympic parallel bars titlist and a three-time world champion in the apparatus, topped the field with an impressive 15.766 points. Yulo still earned a crack at a medal as he placed third in the floor exercise qualification to secure his place in the eight-man final. The reigning two-time Asian champion in floor exercise, Yulo recorded 14.333 points to finish behind Japan’s Kazuki Minami (14.466) and South Korea’s Ryu Sung-hyun (14.366). Milad Karimi of Kazakhstan, Yuri Guimaraes of Brazil, Aurel Benovic of Croatia, individual neutral athlete Yahor Sharamkou of Belarus, and Illia Kovtun of Ukraine also advanced to the medal round. 


The floor exercise final is set on Saturday, March 9. But before that, Yulo – who placed 18th in the still rings – sees action in the qualification for vault, horizontal bar, and pommel horse on Friday. On the distaff side, the Philippines’ Levi Jung-Ruivivar also qualified for the uneven bars final after landing at sixth in the qualification with a score 13.466 points. Jung-Ruivivar and Emma Malabuyo are in Baku with the goal of boosting their bid to join Yulo and Aleah Finnegan in the Paris Olympics. 


The two Filipinas compete in the floor exercise and balance beam qualification on Friday. 




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