Japanese gymnastics legend Kohei Uchimura and U.S. gymnast Simone Biles looks forward to take home more gold medals at the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow which will begin today, 23rd of October.
Competitors at the World Championships will have the chance to secure an Olympic berth for next year’s 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Uchimura, labeled as “King Kohei” will not only aim to secure another all-around gold medal to record his sixth consecutive World all-around title but will also attempt to get his first team gold with Japan, while American artistic gymnast Simone Biles will try to get her third consecutive women’s all-around title.
Uchimura, whose specialty is the floor and parallel bar event, has an impressive collection of Olympic medals (five; including 1 gold and 4 silver medals) and World medals (sixteen; including seven gold medals)
The only gold medal that is missing in his medal collection is the Japanese team title as the Chinese team has always been ahead of Japan in the past international competitions.
These two Asian countries have been battling over the past 8 years with China already winning two Olympic gold medals ahead of Japan and last year’s world title was won by China with only 1/10th of a point ahead of Japan.
“All I’m looking is to win a team gold” Uchimura said as the Japanese national team has yet to win a team gold medal in the past 37 years.
Before he went to Glasgow, the Japanese gymnast trained in France, at the same venue where he trained before the 2012 Summer Olympics
“Training in France I completed all the disciplines with no mistakes so my condition’s pretty good,” he said.
However, his teammate, Ryohei Kato, has yet to recover from an injury in his left ankle.
“It’s about 80 to 90 percent there,” Kato told the Japanese press after his training in Glasgow
“It should be ready in time. I’m using a thicker mat for landing in training and I don’t feel pain.”
New women’s record
American Simone Biles is looking forward to become the first female gymnast to secure three-consecutive World all-around titles and help the U.S. women’s team defend their team title.
“Everyone tells me about it but I never think of it that way,” Biles commented about the record.
“I just go in and try to do as much for the team as I can and then hopefully if I make the all-around final then we’ll go from there. But I think it would be pretty cool (to win a third title).”
The U.S. women’s team looks more powerful this year as two of the U.S. gymnastics stars; including Olympic all-around and team gold medalist Gabrielle Douglas and the team captain of the Fierce Five, Aly Raisman rejoins the U.S. women’s team
“It brings out the best in all of us,” said Biles of the challenge.
“It’s less than a year out (from the Olympics). As a team we look really strong and hopefully better than ever. We’re all in a good spot right now.” Raisman added.
Last year, the Chinese team took the silver medal on the team event but this year, they will compete without the uneven bar champion Yao Jinnan, with Russia also competing without the presence of Aliya Mustafina, a former world all-around gold medalist.
However, Russian gymnast Viktoria Komova, an Olympic all-around silver medallist, will rejoin the Russian team after her absence in the 2014 World Championships due to health-related problems.
“We have installed new names both in both the men’s and women’s squads,” said Russian gymnastics federation chief Vasily Titov.
“It’s a serious test for our athletes to select those who will represent Russia at the Olympics.”
Romanian athlete Larisa Iordache, a world all-around silver medallist who is less than half a point behind Biles, could also become a challenge for the U.S. gymnast, although the Romanian gymnast has been dealing with ankle injury ever since.
The top 8 teams will automatically qualify for next year’s Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro while the teams ranked 9th to 16th will compete at the Olympic Test Event on April next year.
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