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Kohei Uchimura misses chance to qualify for horizontal bar finals at national meet

Kyodo

Kohei Uchimura failed to qualify for the horizontal bar finals at the Japan National Gymnastics Apparatus Championships on Saturday.

The two-time reigning Olympic all-around men’s champion entered the competition aiming to execute the Bretschneider, in the final round, but slipped and fell from the bar before he could execute his dismount. He had a similar plan at a World Cup apparatus event in March, when he also failed to reach the horizontal bar final.

“I’m never able to do the Bretschneider,” he said of the element with the extreme difficulty level of ‘H.’ “If I advance in the (horizontal bar) finals at the worlds, I want to try it.”

Yusuke Tanaka, who won the men’s team gold along with Uchimura at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, finished first in qualifying in both the high bar and parallel bars. The event at Takasaki Arena serves as a qualifier for the world championships that start in October in Doha.

Kakeru Tanigawa, who in April became the youngest champion at the national championships, competed in six disciplines, and advanced to Sunday’s eight-man finals in the floor exercise, pommel horse and parallel bars. Kenzo Shirai, the defending world champion in the floor exercise and the vault, was not required to qualify for those events.

Uchimura and Shirai have already qualified for Japan’s five-man team for Doha. Five women will also be picked for the worlds from among six candidates.