Tokyo 2020 - Japan’s gymnastics great Kohei Uchimura suffers shock early Olympic exit with fall in qualifying
The seven-time Olympic medallist and three-time champion failed to qualify for the final of the horizontal bar, crashing to the mat when he looked like he was going strong. It ends the career of the 32-year-old, who is also a 10-time world champion. Nicknamed ‘King Kohei’, he retires as one of the best men’s gymnasts of all time.
Heartbreak for Japanese legend Uchimura with crash in final Olympics
Japanese gymnastics legend Kohei Uchimura has failed to end his career with a dream final Olympic medal on home soil, after falling in qualifying for the horizontal bar.
The seven-time Olympic medallist, who has claimed three golds, announced he would retire after Tokyo 2020 and chose to concentrate on just one piece of apparatus, meaning he will not be part of Monday’s team final either.
But the 32-year-old, nicknamed ‘King Kohei’ crashed to the mat when he looked to be easing through his opening effort, finishing outside of the required top eight and therefore missing out on a place in the final.
Uchimura is regarded as one of the best men’s gymnasts of all time, and he became the first man in 44 years to win all-around gold at back-to-back Olympics when he finished top of the podium at Rio 2016, backing up his victory at London 2012.
Kohei Uchimura after crashing to the mat in his final Olympics
Image credit: Getty Images
He only just made the team for Tokyo, and called himself an “old fogey” when he did eventually qualify, confessing to not being anywhere near the standards he would usually set himself.
Uchimura won his first Olympic medals at Beijing 2008 with two silvers and he also won 10 World Championship gold medals, having been at the top table of the sport since 2009.