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Kuwahara, Tsurumi Win NHK Cup
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

Shun Kuwahara and Koko Tsurumi won the 46th NHK Cup, held this past weekend in Chiba, Port Arena.

Shun Kuwahara

The scores from the two-day competition in Chiba were combined with the results from April's World Secondary Trials to determine Japan's team for the World Championships in September.

Kuwahara, the alternate on the 2006 World team, earned his highest score on the parallel bars (15.900 the second day).

"I want to challenge for a medal on parallel bars - that is my favorite event," Kuwahara said of his goals for the world championships.

2005 world all-around champion Hiroyuki Tomita, who did not take part in the World Secondary Trials, competed exhibition. Tomita outscored the field with a 91.300 on the first day and a 90.950 on the second day.

For the men, six gymnasts including Tomita were named to the world team. The top three all-around gymnasts from both competitions earned automatic berths.

Takuya Nakase, sixth at the 2006 Worlds and the winner of the trials in April, finished second behind Kuwahara.

Yosuke Hoshi, 21, finished third. Hoshi, a senior at Juntendo University, shows excellent body line and is strong on parallel bars and high bar.

Two additional gymnasts, veteran Takehiro Kashima and Makoto Okiguchi, were selected using a point system for high scores on individual events.

Kashima, fourth, has fully recovered from the shoulder surgery he underwent following the 2005 world championships. He earned the competition's highest scores on pommel horse (16.050 and 16.100).

"After I was injured, I made an effort to be selected," Kashima said. "I think it is my role to get the team's high score on pommel horse. I want to do a more polished performance on pommel horse and get a medal. The biggest goal is making it to 2008."

Okiguchi, a senior at Nippon Sport Science University, finished seventh with strong performances on floor and vault. The 21-year-old performed a Lopez on vault (Kasamatsu with double-twist), earning the highest individual scores of the competition (16.400 and 16.500).

In the women's competition, 14-year-old Koko Tsurumi won the gold medal in a tiebreaker with national champion Miki Uemura, 19. Mai Yamagishi, 15, finished third.

The top five gymnasts earned berths to the world team. Mayu Kuroda and Kyoko Oshima, who tied for sixth, were also selected for their high individual scores.

2007 NHK Cup/Japan World Trials
June 9-11, Chiba

Men's All-Around
1. Shun Kuwahara 269.400
2. Takuya Nakase 269.050
3. Yosuke Hoshi 268.700
4. Takehiro Kashima 268.575
5. Hisashi Mizutori 268.000
6. Yusuke Tanaka 267.825
7. Makoto Okiguchi 267.475
8. Kazuya Ueda 267.075

Women's All-Around
1. Koko Tsurumi 175.975
2. Mai Yamagishi 175.575
3. Keiko Mukumoto 175.200
4. Miki Uemura 174.675
5. Momoko Ozawa 173.975
6. Kyoko Oshima 173.700
6. Mayu Kuroda 173.700

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