Kohei Uchimura again bit by injury: ‘Everything is painful’

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Kohei Uchimura, the most decorated male all-around gymnast in history and one of Japan’s biggest stars heading into the Tokyo Olympics, is again in pain going into next week’s national championships.

“My body doesn’t move the way I’d hoped it would at this point,” Uchimura said Thursday, according to an Olympic Channel translation of a Sankei Sports report. “It’s not only the shoulders, but everything from the neck down is painful.”

Uchimura, a 30-year-old with two Olympic all-around titles and a record six world all-around crowns, hasn’t competed in a major all-around since the Rio Games due to injuries.

In 2017, he tore a left ankle ligament on a vault landing during world championships qualifying, which ended his streak as global all-around winner at eight years and reportedly kept him from walking for about a month.

Then in September, he suffered right ankle ligament damage in training. That limited him to four events at worlds, passing on vault and floor exercise, the leg-based apparatuses. He came home with a high bar silver and team bronze, Japan’s worst finish since 2006.

Uchimura said going into Rio that he planned to scale back his training and perhaps not compete in the all-around at the Tokyo Olympics, which would be his fourth and likely final Games. He will be older than any Japanese Olympic gymnast since 1968.

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