Yulo’s “Ma, naka-gold ako” message goes viral after winning PH’s historic world championship gold

MANILA, Philippines – He’s the second Filipino athlete to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but Carlos “Caloy” Edriel Yulo made history for winning the Philippines' first-ever gold in gymnastics world championship. The young man would also go viral for his sweet “Ma, naka-gold ako” message for his mom.
Carlos Yulo PH’s historic world championship gold

Netizens were impressed by the young athlete’s heartfelt message to his mom, especially because he didn’t use English despite the interviewers being from foreign media. He’s definitely proud to be Pinoy, netizens declared.

Carlos Yulo PH’s historic world championship gold
Photo credit: Handout / ABS-CBN News

Yulo earned the gold medal and advanced to the Olympics after acing his performance in the men’s all-around qualifiers of the 49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships held at the Hans Martin Schleyer Halle in Stuttgart, Germany on Saturday.

At just 19 years old, Yulo is the youngest competitor from among 92 countries; he made it to the top 24 needed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics several days earlier. He will be joining Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena in the quadrennial games.

Yulo ranked seventh in the men’s floor exercise before heading to the finals.

Japanese training

His rise from underdog to crowd favorite could be attributed to the rigorous training he undertook in Japan; something that he’s been doing for the past 3 years.

It was Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP) president Cynthia Carrion who saw the potential in Yulo as her young GAP protégé at the tender age of seven. He was barely 16 years old when Carrion offered him the chance to train with Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya in Tokyo, Japan.

“I talked to my mom (Angelika) and she told it was better to go there and train with coach Mune (Kugimiya’s nickname) So I went,” Yulo admitted.

“I was a shy kid then and there was the problem of communication. It was a bit hard since I was alone.”

He would later learn how to speak Japanese and would soon become fluent in the language.

Training under Kumigaya was ‘super hard’ but the rigorous trainings paid off, because the drillmaster coach truly delivered. Today, Yulo is set to compete in the Olympics, an honor that’s also a first for the Philippines in the field of gymnastics.

“Caloy [Yulo], of course, did his part in dedicating himself to his training and working hard while Coach Mune [Kumigaya] brought out the best in him so he could become a world-class athlete,” Carrion shared.

"Of course, we also provided a lot of mental and spiritual encouragement so he could have that winning attitude.”

Carlos Yulo PH’s historic world championship gold
Photo credit: REUTERS / Wolfgang Rattay / MANILA BULLETIN

Aside from mental and spiritual guidance, Carrion would also personally raise funds to help Yulo reach for his Olympic dream. Thus, she thanks the many Good Samaritans for their unwavering support for the young athlete.

Yulo is also set to compete for the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games which will be held in the country in November.

— Joy Adalia, The Summit Express

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