Budget constraints forced Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP) president Cynthia Carrion to leave other gymnasts without a coach in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
Admitting that majority of the fund were poured on Carlos Yulo’s preparation for the meet, Carrion said it somehow affected the performance of the Filipino gymnasts in the biennial competition.
“There would be changes in the NSA (national sports association). I will allot more budget to every athlete and not only on Caloy,” Carrion told Daily Tribune.
“I have to apologize to other athletes. Some of them did not even have sufficient coaches for the SEA Games,” she added.
Carrion said GAP’s budget from the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) was inadequate for all the gymnasts who competed in the SEA Games as bulk of it was spent to Yulo, whom she thought has the best chance to win more gold medals.
The Olympic Games-bound Yulo went on to win two golds and five silver medals in his first SEA Games.
Carrion admitted the team could have done better if they have more coaches available for the other gymnasts.
“Our budget is very small and almost all of it went to Caloy because, as we expected it to be, he can deliver more medals, more golds,” Carrion said.
“We have to give our athletes budget so that they can seek proper training and increase their level of competition that is word-class,” she added.
Meanwhile, Carrion said Yulo is set to compete in two major international tournaments next year to hone his skills for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“He will join two more world competitions so that his skills will be of a more Olympics-standard,” she bared.
The 19-year-old Yulo will join a rhythmic gymnastics competition in Baku, Azerbaijan from 24 to 26 April and another in Doha, Qatar also slated next year.
“We have to make sure that his skills, after the SEA Games, will get higher and we have to make him the best of the best in the gymnastics industry,” Carrion added.
“But Caloy’s success is just the start of something good for the association. He can inspire more young athletes to join the sport.”