Munehiro Kugimiya, the Japanese coach of Carlos Yulo, held himself accountable for the underwhelming performance of the Filipino gymnast last Saturday (July 24).
Heading into the Tokyo Games as the reigning world champion in the floor exercise, Yulo failed to meet high expectations as he struggled in his pet event, where he settled in 44th place out of 64 competitors and fell way short of the Top 8 ranking needed to make it to the medal round.
Compounding on Yulo's woes were his dismal outings in four other apparatuses, where also crashed out of medal contention, namely: still rings (24th), parallel bars (55th), horizontal bar (63rd), and pommel horse (69th).
Kugimiya took to social media to voice out his sentiments, reminding the world that he is the one to blame for Yulo's setbacks.
"If you want to blame, please say [it] to his coach. If you want to say waste, please say [it] to his coach. He is the person who have responsibility. What he did: athlete is always trying [his] best," Kugimiya shared on Facebook.
“[Caloy] is [Caloy] even though success or fail. One of my proud gymnasts. The path we have taken is not easy...He is the one (who) feels most mabigat (heavy) [on] himself,” the Japanese mentor continued. "If I'm not desirable as a Philippine coach, just tell me. I'm here."
Still, the fight is not over for Yulo, who advanced to the vault final, where he can gain a measure of redemption with a medal finish.
Well aware of this fact, Kugimiya calls on everyone who continues to believe in Yulo to shower him with support.
"He['s] already seeing forward now. Please support and [pray] for him," he said.
Ohmer Bautista is a sports journalist who has covered local and international sporting events in the Philippines. The views expressed are his own.