Uchimura warns against China fixation

Japan superstar Kohei Uchimura has told his team-mates not to obsess about Olympic rivals China, after the two Asian powerhouses disappointed in men's artistic gymnastics qualifying.

Japan and China, the dominant force in Beijing in 2008, had been expected to fight it out for the major honours in London, but they were eclipsed by the United States, Russia and hosts Great Britain on Saturday's opening day.

Japan ended the day in fifth position in the overall team ranking, with reigning Olympic champions China one place below them in sixth.

With China having competed in the first qualifying session on Saturday morning, Japan knew about their rivals' travails when they emerged for the second session at the North Greenwich Arena, but still they struggled.

Uchimura's uneven display was emblematic of Japan's difficulties.

Tipped for gold in the men's individual all-around competition, the three-time world champion fell off the high bar and the pommel horse and left the arena with the ninth-highest individual score of the day.

The slates will be wiped clean when the teams resume hostilities in the team competition on Monday, and Uchimura says Japan cannot afford to be distracted by China again.

"We were all more or less thinking about how the Chinese were going to perform, so it might have affected our performance today," he said.

"From now on, we'll try not to think about how the Chinese team are going to do and just try to do our best."

Uchimura said he was "not worried" about his own performance levels, but conceded that improvements needed to be made.

"I'll try not to make any more mistakes," he said. "We'll practise tomorrow (Sunday), so I'll try to improve."

Such is the difficulty level of Uchimura's routines that he can usually afford to make mistakes and still record higher scores than most of his rivals.

His fall from the high bar was a bridge too far, however, and his score of 15.000 deprived him of a place in the event final.

Meanwhile, miscalculations elsewhere, coupled with better performances by his team-mates and rivals, mean that his only chances of individual gold now lie in the all-around event and on the floor.

Prior to the start of the Olympics, Uchimura insisted his primary motivation was ensuring Japan win the team gold, and team coach Takahiro Moriizumi said he remained a dedicated team-player.

"The thing with Uchimura is that everyone in the world thinks he is just interested in being a star, but we are all playing as a team," he said.

"We talk about this in our meetings. If someone makes a mistake, other people will cover, because we are competing as a team."

Japan and China will resume hostilities in the team competition on Monday, with the men's individual all-around title due to be contested on Wednesday.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Sandigan OKs hospital stay for GMA co-accused
    Sandigan OKs hospital stay for GMA co-accused

    The Sandiganbayan has allowed a government official, accused with plunder along with former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to undergo a medical procedure at a hospital tomorrow. The anti-graft court permitted former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) board member Benigno Aguas to undergo a cardiopulmonary/endocrine clearance at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City. …

  • Sandigan recommends executive clemency for ex-envoy
    Sandigan recommends executive clemency for ex-envoy

    The Sandiganbayan has recommended executive clemency for a former Philippine ambassador to Nigeria who was sentenced to 52 years for malversation of public funds. The Sandiganbayan First Division found Masaranga Umpa guilty of misusing the Assistance-To-Nationals Stand-by Funds totaling $80,478.80 in 2007, but the anti-graft court said the former assemblyman from Lanao del Norte should be pardoned. …

  • Stargazing at the mall highlights Earth Hour
    Stargazing at the mall highlights Earth Hour

    It was a night of stargazing in 58 SM Supermalls all over the country last night as these establishments participated in Earth Hour, an annual worldwide movement encouraging communities and establishments to switch off lights for one hour to raise global awareness of overuse of non-renewable resources. The Philippines has been an active participant of Earth Hour since 2008. Last night, in the province of Bulacan, for instance, all parishes, diocesan institutions, schools and household …

  • Payanig privatization hit
    Payanig privatization hit

    BLEMP Commercial of the Philippines, Inc. (BLEMP) denounced the recent announcement of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to privatize the 18.4-hectare “Payanig sa Pasig” property. In a statement sent to The STAR, BLEMP lawyer Dennis Manalo said the PCGG has no right to auction the property because it has no valid title and is not in possession. The PCGG has not paid a single centavo in real property taxes for the property, he said. He narrated that it was in the early 70s …

  • New species of tarantula found
    New species of tarantula found

    Scientists from the Museum of Natural History (MNH) of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños have discovered a new species of cave-dwelling tarantula on an island off the coast of Quezon. The new species of the spider, Phlogiellus kwebaburdeos, was described in the recent issue of the Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology by MNH curators for spiders Aimee Lynn Dupo and Alberto Barrion along with their former student Joseph Rasalan. The tarantula was discovered by Rasalan during one …

  • Palm Sunday: Do not add to suffering of others
    Palm Sunday: Do not add to suffering of others

    As Christendom enters Holy Week today, Palm Sunday, an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) yesterday called on the faithful not to add to the sufferings of their fellowmen. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Public Affairs (ECPA), said that while Palm Sunday is oftentimes remembered as the glorious arrival of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, it also signals the start of the Holy Week that tells of His suffering, death and …

  • Miriam pushes tougher graft law
    Miriam pushes tougher graft law

    Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has filed a bill that would make public officials liable for violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act even if they are elected to a fresh term or a new position. In filing Senate Bill 2716, Santiago sought to address what she said was the doctrine of condonation in Philippine jurisprudence brought about by the 2010 case of Salumbides vs. Ombudsman. “By merely asserting the doctrine of condonation, erring elective officials are automatically given a …

  • Phl hits back at China over sea infra work
    Phl hits back at China over sea infra work

    The Philippines assailed China yesterday for contesting Manila’s planned repair and maintenance works on some islands in the West Philippine Sea, saying they are “in no way comparable” to the Asian power’s massive reclamation activities which are in violation of international laws. “The Philippines’ possible undertaking of necessary maintenance and repairs on its existing facilities in the West Philippine Sea, over which the Philippines rightfully exercises sovereignty, sovereign rights and …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options