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Bambol Tolentino wants Caloy Yulo to skip Gymnastic Worlds, join Asian Games instead

POC president Bambol Tolentino believes Caloy Yulo could lord over the Asian Games with the top Asian gymnasts choosing the World Championships instead.
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Philippine Olympic Committee president Bambol Tolentino has proposed to the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines to have Caloy Yulo join the Asian Games instead of the FIG World Championships.

Tolentino made the suggestion during the POC general assembly last week at the Golden Bay Restaurant in Pasay.

According to Tolentino, Yulo can rack up as many medals as he can in Hangzhou with the top Asian bets expected to be in Antwerp instead as both events will coincide.

“It’s going to be win-win for Team Philippines in the Asian Games because all the gymnastics powerhouse countries will be competing in the world championships. So Yulo has a strong opportunity of sweeping all the events in Hangzhou,” Tolentino said.

The Asian Games will formally begin on Sept. 23, exactly a week before the start of the world championships.

Gymnastics president Cynthia Carrion-Norton previously said that Yulo will join the worlds as it is part of the Paris Olympics qualifying process.

However, she said during the POC GA that they will take into consideration Tolentino's proposal, which according to the Tagaytay mayor was supported by everyone present in the meeting, before arriving at a final decision.

“All the members of the POC general assembly are begging for gymnastics to consider playing in the Asian Games,” Tolentino said. “We have already asked them to look for other Olympic qualifying events. Belgium is just the first Olympic qualifying and there are many more.”

Yulo has been inserted to the "entry by name" for the Asian Games.

Four hundred twenty-six athletes have been named to the Philippine team into Hangzhou, which also includes pole vaulter EJ Obiena, another potential cinch for a gold.

“I believe he can get all the medals especially gold in the Asian Games. At the same time, the incentives he can get there are higher,” Tolentino said of Yulo. “And based on research, there are more other Olympic qualifiers by next year which is not that difficult so all POC members are begging for gymnastics to let Caloy play.”

Two Olympic qualifiers are set for 2024, the Apparatus World Cup series from January to March and the continental championships in April and May.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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