Tomita secures Olympic berth


Former world champion Hiroyuki Tomita secured a second straight Olympic berth on Tuesday after winning the men’s all-around event on the final day of the NHK Cup.

Tomita, a member of Japan’s gold medal-winning team at the 2004 Athens Olympics, amassed a total of 274.400 points, followed by Kohei Uchimura (271.700) and Koki Sakamoto (269.050), both of whom also won spots for the Beijing Olympics.

“I am relieved,” said Tomita, winner of the men’s all-around world title in 2005. “I had some great performances over the two days of competition. At the Olympics, I hope we can stimulate each other to turn in good performances.”

Takehiro Kashima, Makoto Okiguchi and Takuya Nakase were also selected based on their points earned in qualifying meets.

Aside from Tomita and Kashima, the other four will make their first appearance at an Olympics as the Japanese team aims for a repeat performance against world champion China.

Yoneda, who won the gold as a member of the men’s team in Athens, said the same day he will retire from competition.

In women’s action, Kyoko Oshima collected 176.325 points to place atop in the all-around event and won an Olympic berth, along with Miki Uemura, Yu Minobe, Koko Tsurumi and Yuko Shintake. Mayu Kuroda booked a spot on points earned from individual disciplines.