Karl Eldrew Yulo soars with seven golds in Batang Pinoy gymnastics

Karl Eldrew Yulo soars with seven golds in Batang Pinoy gymnastics

KARL ELDREW YULO of Manila zoomed to the top as the most bemedaled athlete so far with seven golds as defending champion Baguio City claimed the medal race lead halfway through the 2023 Batang Pinoy national finals at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila.

Baguio City, the three-time reigning champion, stabilized its bid for another national crown by leaning on the four-gold medal haul of taekwondo jins in the kyorugi event to snatch the race with 13 gold medals, seven silver and 22 bronze medals.

The Summer Capital of the Philippines started cool inside the Top 5 in the first two days before waxing hot in Day 3 as Joshua Aaron Erece (junior male fin), Chezka Nicolette Luzadas (cadet female 4th category), Rolyn Matthew Salay (cadet male 1st category) and Zash Khaine Mendoza (cadet 4th category) led the gold rush.

Aileen Amancio also threw in contribution by ruling the girls’ 13-15 age-group in arnis after the initial harvest of Aiden Eclipse (male 14-15), Edel Ali Pangayan Ngina  (male 16-17), Lara Czarina Langaoen (female 8-9), Lyre Anie Ngina (female 12-13) and Pathiel Eave Paus Dela Rosa (female 14-15) in muay thai wai kru in the first days.

Baguio wasn’t just about martial arts as it also made its mark in the opener of archery with Chass Mhaiven Nawew Colas winning the male 15-under 30-meter and 40-meter recurve for a quick dual-gold feat.

But the moment belonged to Mr. Yulo, who made the biggest leap — and the most perfect landing — with seven captivating golds in the men’s artistic gymnastics, just months after owning the Palarong Pambansa anew with a six-gold harvest.

Mr. Yulo, the brother of world champion Caloy, was head and shoulders above the competition in the boys’ FIG Juniors 14-17 category by reigning supreme in all the individual events of vault, still rings, floor exercise, high bar, parallel bar, pommel horse, and the individual all-around at GAP National Gymnastics Center in Intramuros.

A possible eighth gold medal is in play for Mr. Yulo as of press time pending the deliberation of the technical committee on the result of the team events with Manila as frontrunner.

Not to be left behind was Maria Celina Angela Gonzales of San Juan with four gold medals in the women’s artistic gymnastics (WAG) High Performance 1 with wins in the uneven bars, balance beam, floor exercise and individual all-around.

In cycling, Quezon City captured a double-gold in the boys and girls’ 14-15 individual time trial courtesy of Nathaniel Alvaro Aquino (23:41) and Maria Louisse Criselle Java Alejado (28:23.2)

Meanwhile, Pasig’s Arvin Naeem Taguinota became the most bemedaled tanker with another win in the boys’ 12-nder 100-meter backstroke, clocking in 1 minute and 5.63 seconds after his wins in the 200-meter individual medley, 50-meter backstroke and 200-meter relay.

In the medal race, Quezon City stayed at third with 10 golds, 7 silvers, 7 bronzes, and Pasig (8-10-16) lurked at No. 5. Davao City (10-9-8) and Muntinlupa (10-0-7) were steady at second and fourth, respectively. — John Bryan Ulanday