TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese gymnast Kohei Uchimura, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, is headed for his fourth straight Olympic Video games after clinching a spot on the nationwide group on Sunday with a tie-breaking level.
Uchimura, 32, lengthy so dominant within the sport he’s been referred to as “King Kohei,” has opted this time to solely compete within the horizontal bar to present his battered physique a break, that means he won’t be participating within the all-around competitions he as soon as dominated.
The holder of a complete of seven Olympic medals, on the 2016 Rio Summer time Video games he grew to become the primary male gymnast in 44 years to win back-to-back Olympic all-around titles. He additionally led the Japanese group to gold.
However accidents caught up with him in recent times and he struggled to remain in form. He ultimately made the choice to focus on the horizontal bar alone with the intention to clinch an Olympic spot, though he confessed that the selection was exhausting and a part of him nonetheless wished to compete on different equipment.
Squeaking via after being awarded a tiebreaking level, Uchimura mentioned his emotions had been difficult.
“My efficiency wasn’t actually one I might settle for, and after I completed I believed I wouldn’t be going to the Olympics. However after I was advised I’d, greater than being joyful I used to be pondering ‘is that this actually okay?’” he advised a post-match information convention.
“I don’t really feel that after as we speak’s efficiency, I actually need to be known as ‘King.’ I’ll actually need to observe earlier than the Olympics,” he added.
“It was actually exhausting for me, as such an previous man, to carry out after the New Era,” he mentioned, referring to fellow group mates roughly a decade his junior. “I will not be a part of the all-around group effort however there’s nonetheless issues I can contribute because of my expertise.”
Reporting by Elaine Lies; Enhancing by Michael Perry