Uchimura Kohei strengthens Tokyo 2020 specialist case
The two-time Olympic all-around champion once again topped the standings on the horizontal bar
After putting up a massive 15.700 on the event at a domestic event in December, Uchimura has once again topped the standings on the event at Friday's All-Japan Championships. The six-time World all-around champion earned a 15.166, more than three-tenths of a point clear of second place.
"I cannot make mistakes now that I have decided to compete in an individual apparatus event," he said prior to the event, according to Kyoto News. "I believe the Olympics will follow if I can perform the way I've prepared."
In the first of two days of competition, 2018 Youth Olympic Games all-around champion Kitazono Takeru leads the way with an 87.332. Veteran Kaya Kazuma is more than a point back in third, having earned a total score of 86.298.
Thursday, 2016 Olympian and 2017 World floor exercise champion Mai Murakami led the way in the all-around with a 56.266. Hatakeda Hitomi (55.099) and Hiraiwa Yuna (54.132) are second and third, respectively, after the qualifying around.
2016 Olympian Teramoto Asuka, who is returning to competition after a torn Achilles tendon in 2020 that would have almost certainly caused her to miss the Tokyo Games had they been held last year, is fourth. She scored 53.998.