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Caloy Yulo fails to defend FIG floor title

Caloy Yulo settled for fifth place in the floor exercise final as a crucial deduction dethroned him as world champ. Jade Moya (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Caloy Yulo failed to defend his floor exercise championship in the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championship as a balancing struggle even took him out of the podium in the final of the said event on Saturday in Kitakyushu, Japan.

A crucial balancing struggle costed Yulo, the 2019 champ, a second consecutive title as his total score without the deduction would have been enough to beat eventual winner Nicola Bartolini for the gold.

Yulo, who topped the qualifying phase on Wednesday, went off to a great start as his redemption tour from his failed Tokyo Olympics bid continued.

But he stepped out of bounds while trying to keep himself from falling after a certain routine.

Yulo's performance was good for 14.866 points, but the 0.3-point penalty for the out-of-bound infraction brought him down to 14.566, which was good for fifth place.

The Italian Bartolini, the 2021 European champ who was first in the order of the participants, finished with 14.8 points to win it all.

Kazuki Minami of host country Japan finished second with 14.766, while Finland's Emil Soravuo, who had the lowest qualifying score among the eighth finalists, took the bronze with 14.7.

Yulo, however, can still bounce back on Sunday as he goes for the gold in the parallel bars and the vault finals.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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