• Kyodo

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Kohei Uchimura placed fourth in the men’s qualification round of the national individual all-around gymnastics championships Friday, when the nine-time reigning champion returned to action after capturing two gold medals at the Rio Olympics.

Uchimura won the men’s team and all-around competitions in Brazil last summer.

The 28-year-old made a mistake on the parallel bars which dragged him back, settling for 85.350 points from six apparatuses. Kenta Chiba leads with 86.050, followed by Wataru Tanigawa in second.

Kenzo Shirai, who nabbed the team gold with Uchimura and a bronze on the vault in Rio, was third, and Kazuma Kaya had the same points as Uchimura to tie for fourth.

In the women’s competition, defending champion Mai Murakami topped the field with 56.300 points from four events, followed by Asuka Teramoto, the 2015 winner, with 55.450.

The scores from qualifying are not carried over to Sunday’s final rounds for both men and women.

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