TOKYO—Carlos Yulo came so close to clinching a medal in his Olympic debut, finishing fourth in the men’s pole vault final of gymnastics at an almost empty Ariake Gymnastics Centre.
The culprit was a misstep in his landing in his first vault.
“I went outside in my landing in my first vault,” said the 21-year-old Yulo, the youngest among the eight finalists. “Had I not done that, it would have helped me land a medal because I did better in my second vault.”
Yulo earned 14.566 in his first vault—a López (roundoff, back handspring with half turn entry and front layout somersault with half twist), but was near flawless in the second with a final-best 14.866—a Dragulescu (a handspring double front with half turn)—for a total 14.716 performance.
South Korea’s Shin Jeahwan lived up to his billing and won the gold medal with 14.783, with Russian Olympic Committee’s Denis Ablizian settling for the silver also with 14.783 but with an inferior score in his second vault. Armenia’s Artur Davtyan snatched the bronze medal with 14.733.
“I was that close,” said Yulo, the 2019 men’s floor exercise world champion. “It’s really disappointing.”
On Tuesday, all eyes will be on Nesthy Petecio as she steps atop the ring for the biggest fight of her life.
Petecio shoots for the country’s second medal after weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz when she battles Japanese Sena Irie in the women’s featherweight final at the Kokugikan Arena. The fight is set at 12:05 p.m. (Manila time).
Also on Tuesday, Carlo Paalam eyes a slot in the men’s flyweight medal round when he battles Olympic and world champion Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan at 12:15 p.m. (Manila time).