Second-world-ranked pole-vaulter EJ Obiena may pose as the first Filipino to reserve his slot for July 2024 as two gymnasts follow to the coveted pool of international representation in Paris’s Olympics.
Now two-time Olympian Carlos Yulo and former Pan American/SEA Games Gold Medalist Aleah Finnegan have qualified to represent the Philippines through their top-individual finishes at Antwerp, Belgium’s World Artistic Gymnastics Championships (WAG).
PH Carlos Yulo (Left) and Aleah Finnegan (Right)
Yulo’s Paris narrative unfolded following his performance as the top-ranked eligible individual in the floor exercise category. Finishing behind event Israeli victor Artem Dolgopyat and United States’ Fred Richard, the Malate native garnered 14.600 points as the highest contender. Despite missing out on the all-around finals due to a miscalculation in the vault event, Yulo’s two-time world championship influence seeps into next year’s Summer Games.
Second-year Louisiana State University Tiger Aleah Finnegan doesn’t possess much experience when repping the Philippine Flag, though her international exposure and extensive competitive resume prove her excellence. The 20-year-old Filipino-American qualified for the 2024 Games, coming in fifth of the 14 vacant positions with a 51.366 finish (32nd overall)—13th in vault, 73rd in uneven bars, 38th in balance beam, and 34th in floor exercise.
“I’m just so thankful for the Philippines for giving me this opportunity that I would never have been able to take otherwise,” Finnegan mentioned to the Olympic Channel.