Uchimura hurts ankle, but ready to compete
DOHA: Olympic champion Kohei Uchimura suffered an ankle injury last week, but exuded confidence that he will compete at the 48th FIG Artistic World Championships here.
According to various Japanese media reports which quoted the Japan Gymnastics Association, the 29-year-old injured his right ankle during a training session at National Training Centre in Tokyo.
“It’s not as bad as last year, I’m still hopeful. It’s too early to rule myself out of the tournament and I want to compete,” Uchimura told Japan Times. "I could not walk for about a month after last year’s injury, but this time I'm back on my feet.”
The Japanese superstar's six world all-around titles are twice as many as any other man or woman.
Uchimura became the first gymnast (male or female) to win every major all-around title in an entire single Olympic cycle, accomplishing this feat twice by winning six world titles (2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015) and two individual All-Around titles at the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympics respectively.
The two-time All-around Olympic gold medallist suffered a similar injury to his left ankle at last year’s edition in Montreal, Canada, and also skipped the 2018 Asian Games to focus on his preparations for the Worlds.
China’s Xiao Ruoteng won worlds in his absence last year.
Uchimura, who won back-to-back all-around Olympic gold since 2012, returned to competitive action at the 11th FIG Artistic Individual World Cup here in March, but failed to qualify for the six apparatus finals at the Aspire Dome.
There were further disappointment when he was stopped by teenager Kakeru Tanigawa in his bid to win 11th straight title at his country’s National Championship in April.
The legend limited his training with the Japanese team last week, skipping floor exercise and vault, but said he’s not giving up on doing all six events during the October 25-November 3 event.