DECORATED Filipino gymnast Carlos Yulo added two more gold medals to his romp in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam as he won the men’s vault and horizontal bars events on Monday, May 16.

Yulo’s latest triumphs brings his gold medal total in this competition to five. He also has silver medal finishes in the men’s team event and parallel bars. He matched the five-gold haul recorded by a sports hero, Rolando Albuera, who achieved the feat in the Jakarta 1979 SEA Games.

The 22-year-old expectedly won in the apparatus where he is the reigning world champion, dominating the vault finals and adding a gold in the horizontal bars as he ended his stint in Vietnam with a solid shot at becoming the best male athlete.

After blowing the competition away with a score of 14.700 points in the vault, Yulo returned hours later and tied for first in the horizontal bars with Ding Phuong Thanh of Vietnam, both scoring 13.867 points.

Overall, artistic gymnastics has contributed seven gold medals, four silvers and one bronze to the Philippine drive, the best finish by Pinoy gymnasts in recent memory.

Aside from Yulo’s last day golden double, also contributing to the country’s gold medal cause was the dancesport pair of Jean Mischa Aranar and Ana Nualla, who completed a golden treble in tango, Viennese waltz, and all final dance standard at the Long Bien Gymnasium.

Mark Jayson Gayon and Mary Joy Renigen contributed the fourth gold for the day, ruling the slow foxtrot, raising dancesport’s contribution to five, counting another gold last Sunday.

Bowler Merwin Tan ruled the men’s singles and ended an 11-year golden drought by the keglers; 110-meter hurdler Clinton Kingston Bautista kept his crown as the athletics team raised its haul to three golds; while Jocel Lyn Ninoble triumphed in women’s poomsae of taekwondo.

Swimmer Chloe Isleta also joined the gold medal parade, ruling the women’s 200-m backstroke.

Vietnam all but secured the overall title but Filipino athletes, whose stint here is backed by the Philippine Sports Commission, stayed in the hunt for second overall with a total harvest of 30 gold medals, 34 silvers, and 43 bronzes to Thailand’s 34-35-50. The host team zoomed away from the field with an 83-50-55 haul. (JNP)