Japan's Uchimura out of Olympics after horizontal bar flop
TOKIO, JULY 24: Japanese gymnastics star Kohei Uchimura crashed out of the Tokyo Games on day one Saturday when he was eliminated from the horizontal bar competition to dash his dream of ending his decorated career with a fourth Olympic gold.
The all-around 2012 and 2016 Olympic champion, who was due to retire after the Games, lost his grip during his horizontal bar routine and failed to qualify for next week's final.
"In the last three Olympic Games I've been able to match the level of performance I'd reached in training -- but not this time," a dejected Uchimura said.
"I think I've reached my peak, even getting selected for the Japanese team was hard enough this time."
He left the door open for one more shot at going out on a high the world championships are in Japan in October when he suggested: "It may not be my last competition."
"Let me think about it when I go back tonight," he told media after the sad turn of events witnessed by 12,000 empty seats at the Ariake Centre.
The 32-year-old chose not to go for a third successive all-around title following persistent shoulder problems.
And he revealed: "I was at the lowest of the low when I was injured so I can't be that disappointed now."
Regarded as one of the greatest gymnasts of all time, "King Kohei" also has 10 world titles.
He was penalised for his fall, picking up just 13.866 points, robbing him of the chance to end his career on a golden high on home soil.
After scraping through to get onto the Japanese team, Uchimura had been revelling in competing at the pandemic-delayed 2020 Games.
After training this week he said: "I love it, especially because it's in Japan. This is my fourth Olympics, and this is probably the best one yet." -AFP