Tokyo Olympics: Uchimura woe as Japanese gymnastics great misses out on final

By Sports Desk July 24, 2021

Japanese gymnastics great Kohei Uchimura dramatically tumbled out of Tokyo 2020 when he fell during qualifying for the horizontal bar final.

The home hope was bidding to add to his three Olympic gold medals but lost his grip during an elaborate part of his routine and slumped to the crash mat.

It meant his chances were over, despite Uchimura being able to get back on the apparatus, and the outcome left hosts Japan stunned. A sporting hero in his homeland, news of Uchimura's exit was instantly a top national news story.

Uchimura won all-around gold at London 2012 and Rio 2016, also taking team gold in Brazil five years ago, but his only event for the Tokyo Games was the horizontal bar.

His score of 13.866 put Uchimura well down on the scoreboard, in a lowly 18th place during the qualifying session, with only the top eight going through to the final.

The 32-year-old Uchimura has won seven Olympic medals in all, picking up four silvers to go with his gold haul, claiming two of those at Beijing in 2008 and two four years later in London.

Related items

  • Tokyo Olympics: AIU to investigate Belarus coaches over Tsimanouskaya saga Tokyo Olympics: AIU to investigate Belarus coaches over Tsimanouskaya saga

    The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) is to investigate allegations that two Belarus coaches tried to force sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya to board a flight home from the Tokyo Olympics.

    Tsimanouskaya claimed Artur Shimak and Yury Maisevich took her to the airport against her will after she criticised the coaches on social media.

    The 24-year-old finished fourth in her 100 metres heat, before being pulled out of the Games by Belarusian officials.

    Due to also compete in the 200m, she claimed a Belarusian coach entered her for the 4x400m relay despite her never having raced in the event before.

    Tsimanouskaya said she did not feel safe returning to her homeland amid a crackdown on anti-government dissent following mass protests that erupted last year over a disputed election.

    She flew to Warsaw rather than Belarus after being granted a humanitarian visa by Poland. 

    The International Olympic Committee (IOC) revoked Shimak and Maisevichas' accreditation in August after launching an investigation into the saga.

    The IOC and World Athletics on Thursday revealed that the AIU will look into the matter.

    World Athletics and the IOC stated: "Further to the incident involving Belarusian athlete Krystsina Tsimanouskaya at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the decision taken by the IOC to cancel and remove the accreditations of the two coaches, Messrs A. Shimak and Y. Maisevich, as a provisional measure during the Games, the IOC and World Athletics have jointly agreed to continue the investigation and to open a formal procedure vis-à-vis the two aforementioned coaches. 

    "To this effect, and given that the Olympic Games have now concluded, it has been decided that the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) – the independent body created by World Athletics to manage all integrity issues (both doping-related and non-doping-related) for the sport of athletics – will conduct the procedure, with the full collaboration and support of the IOC. 

    "The AIU will publish the outcome of its investigation when this has been finalised."

     

  • Olympic gymnast Toni-Ann Williams to pursue Master's in Sports Administration via Olympic Solidarity Olympic gymnast Toni-Ann Williams to pursue Master's in Sports Administration via Olympic Solidarity

    Jamaican Olympian Toni-Ann Williams is in Belgium to begin studies in Sports Administration on an Olympic Solidarity Scholarship via the Jamaica Olympic Association.

  • Usain Bolt not plotting return despite Tokyo 2020 comeback temptation Usain Bolt not plotting return despite Tokyo 2020 comeback temptation

    Eight-time Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt is not contemplating a return to athletics despite feeling the temptation for a comeback.

    Bolt ended his career on the track in 2017, calling it quits at the age of 31 after a spate of hamstring injuries, one of which curtailed his efforts in what was supposed to be the Jamaican's final race at the 2017 World Athletics Championships.

    Although it was not the glorious conclusion he may have hoped for, Bolt still left sprinting as the world record holder in the 100 metres, 200m and 4x100m relay and his exploits on the track saw him collect a remarkable eight Olympic golds.

    Back in August 2018, Bolt begin training with Australian football club the Central Coast Mariners and he scored twice in a friendly before being offered a contract, which was to be partially funded by the A-League.

    He ultimately left the Mariners in November and declared two months later that he was done with all sports – though the thought of a U-turn did cross his mind later in 2019.

    However, his coach urged Bolt to resist such a temptation, seemingly denying the world another opportunity to see the legendary sprinter in action at another Olympic Games.

    Asked if he was contemplating a comeback at the age of 35, Bolt told BBC Sport: "It's too late. If I was going to come back it would have been to be for this Olympics.

    "When I told my coach I was going to retire he sat me down and said, 'when you retire, that's it. I'm not doing any comeback tours, nothing. So, make sure you are ready to retire'.

    "I remember I went to him in 2019 and said, 'what do you think about coming back for the Olympics?' And he looked at me and said, 'don't even start'.

    "So, if it's not my coach, I'm not going to do it, because I believe in him and if he says no, it's no - but I've got that itch though."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.