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Yulo eyes redemption, Knott to compete in athletics’ 200-m heats

August 01, 2021 - Sunday 6:08 PM by PNA

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TOKYO – Carlos Yulo vies in the men’s vault finals of artistic gymnastics on Monday night hoping to redeem himself from a disappointing performance in floor exercise more than a week ago.

Yulo scored 14.733 points to land in sixth place in the vault and be with the top eight participants who advanced to the finals. Unfortunately for Yulo, he landed in 44th place out of 64 competitors in his pet floor exercise.

The 2019 floor exercise world champion also fared poorly in rings (24th), parallel bars (55th), horizontal bar (63rd), and pommel horse (69th).

“Hopefully he is more relaxed this time,” Gymnastics Association of the Philippines President Cynthia Carrion Norton said on Sunday. “But watching all the great gymnasts from all over the world could be intimidating.”

South Korea’s Shin Jeahwan is marching to the finals set at close to 7 p.m. (Tokyo time) as the top qualifier with 14.866 points, followed by Armenia’s Artur Davytan with 14.866 and Russian Olympic Committee top bet Nikita Nagorny with 14.783.

Nagorny added the Tokyo Olympics men’s team gold medal to the ROC’s collection earlier last week.

Rounding out the eight qualifiers were Brazil’s Caiou Sauza (14.700), Turkey’s Ahmet Onder (14.466), Hong Kong’s Shek Wai Hung (14.274), and Spain’s Nicolau Mir (14.133).

Carrion Norton said Yulo’s coach Munehiro Kugimiya picked Shin and Onder as favorites in the event but hinted Yulo could have a shot at a medal.

“According to Coach Mune [Kugimiya], the two top vault athletes are Korea and Turkey with the difficulty of 6.02,” Carrion Norton said. “Caloy’s difficulty is 5.60. If Shin and Onder earn deductions and Caloy makes a perfect score, we have a good chance.”

Carrion Norton didn’t say if Yulo was bitten by the so-called “twisties,” which struck even the sensational Simone Biles of the US.

The Associated Press described in a report “twisties” as the sudden inability for a gymnast to make the requisite spins -- or sometimes any spins -- for a particular maneuver.

Meanwhile, Kristina Knott gets on the Tokyo Olympic Stadium track on Monday morning to compete in the women’s 200 meters heats of athletics.

Knott will be running in Heat 7, the final heat, set for 10:18 a.m. (Manila time) hoping to break 23 seconds.

Her personal best is 23.01 seconds, a Philippine national record.

“My goal is to go sub-23 (seconds),” Knott told the Tokyo Olympics official website days before the pandemic Games opened on July 23.

There are seven heats for the event and Knott knows all those times of training are thrown out the window come the start gun.

“It’s championship time. And anything to do with tapering should have been done weeks before,” said Knott.

She prepared for Tokyo under her coach Rohsaan Griffin and strength and conditioning coach Carlo Buzzichelli.

“At this point, you should have given everything you and everything you worked, and it will hopefully show at the competition,” Knott added.

Knott has a personal best 23.01 seconds, the Philippine national record. But in Tokyo, she has to exert more effort.

The 200m field parades many of the world’s best, including the US’s Gabrielle Thomas, who owns a 21.61-second mark in the race. Also in the mix are the Bahamas’s Shaunae Miller-Uibo (21.47) and Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson Herah (21.66).

In Knott’s heat, five of her rivals have sub-23 times.

“Tapering time is now over. It’s now time to show off and show out,” said the Orlando, Florida, native Knott, whose Olympic stint was threatened when she contracted Covid-19 in Sweden in June despite having been vaccinated twice.

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