Skip navigation
Favorites
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Japan’s gymnastics worlds team: no Kohei Uchimura, Kenzo Shirai

All Japan Artistic Gymnastics Apparatus Championships - Day 2

TAKASAKI, JAPAN - JUNE 23: Kenzo Shirai reacts after failing to catch a bar as he competes in the Men’s Horizontal Bar final on day two of the 73rd All Japan Artistic Gymnastics Apparatus Championships at Takasaki Arena on June 23, 2019 in Takasaki, Gunma, Japan. (Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Not only is Kohei Uchimura going to miss the world championships, but so is 11-time world medalist Kenzo Shirai.

Japan finalized its five-man team for October’s worlds in Stuttgart, Germany, following a national-level meet this past weekend. Uchimura, arguably the greatest gymnast in history, was already out of the running, sidelined with his latest round of injuries.

Shirai, reportedly slowed by a left ankle injury this season, did compete this weekend. But he finished fifth on floor exercise and third on vault, his two best events, and did not earn one of the last two spots on the world team.

Uchimura, a two-time Olympic all-around champion with six world all-around titles, misses worlds for the first time since 2007. Shirai, a 22-year-old with four world titles between floor and vault, had competed in every worlds since debuting in 2013, just after his 17th birthday.

Without their two stars, Japan sends a relatively inexperienced team. Kazuma Kaya and Wataru Tanigawa, both 22, are the only men who have been to a worlds (and were part of the 2018 silver-medal team). The youngest member is 17-year-old Daiki Hashimoto.

Japan has earned a team medal at every Olympics and world championships since 2003, a streak bettered only by the U.S. women.

MORE: Olympic gymnastics team sizes return to five for Paris 2024

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!