Japanese gymnastics great Kohei Uchimura has had a heartbreaking end to his career after a devastating fall ended his Olympic hopes on home soil.
Competing as an individual on high bar — his signature event — the 32-year-old widely considered to be the greatest men's gymnast of all time fell midway through his routine and will not advance to event finals later in the Games.
With fans banned, the small crowd of onlookers — most of them coaches and administrators from various countries — gasped as Uchimura fell to the mat. He pulled himself up and completed his routine, sticking his dismount. His score of 13.866 was well outside the top eight cutoff for event finals.
The Japanese star can take solace knowing that the sport the two-time Olympic champion led to glory appears to be in good hands in his home country.
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The program Uchimura led to Olympic glory seems to be back in form after ceding the spotlight to China and Russia in recent years. Japan's team total of 262.251 was just ahead of China's 262.061 and ROC's 261.945.
Daiki Hashimoto topped Olympic qualifying on Saturday, putting on a show inside the largely empty Ariake Gymnastics Centre to help Japan sprint to the top of the leaderboard.
Hashimoto's all-around total of 88.531 pushed Japan past rivals China and ROC, as the Russian team is known, to the top spot in qualifying. The Japanese will bid Monday night for an Olympic title to back up the one they captured in Rio de Janeiro five years ago.
"Passing the qualification round (in first), you know, really (puts pressure on other teams)," Hashimoto said.