MONTREAL – Kohei Uchimura was diagnosed with torn ligaments in his left ankle that will require two to three weeks’ recovery, a Japan Gymnastics Association official said Tuesday.
Uchimura withdrew from the ongoing artistic gymnastics world championships Monday after he injured himself during a vault landing in a qualifying session, ending his bid for a seventh straight individual all-around title.
Doctors at a hospital in Montreal found no bone fractures and the 28-year-old will not undergo surgery, said Hisashi Mizutori, JGA’s chief director of the men’s team.
According to Mizutori, Uchimura will remain with the national team during the Oct. 2-8 meet at the Olympic Stadium instead of flying back to Japan to receive medical treatment. The injury “is not so critical that he has to give up the sport,” he said.
Uchimura will likely sit out the remainder of the season, missing upcoming events such as the national senior championship later this month in Mie Prefecture.
“I’m relieved (to find out it wasn’t as bad as I expected). I’m not one to sit still through the healing process. It’s a hassle to carry my crutches around and I feel like I’ll recover sooner if I just walk,” Uchimura said.
It was the first time for him to pull out midway into a competition, but the two-time Olympic all-around champion remained positive following the setback.
“I had no other option so in that sense, it wasn’t difficult to give up. I’ve accepted the way things are and strangely enough I’m not that disappointed,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kenzo Shirai placed fourth in the qualifiers and advanced to Thursday’s men’s individual all-around final. He also secured spots in the apparatus finals with a first-place finish in the floor exercises and second-place finish in the vault.
The apparatus finals will take place on Saturday and Sunday.
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