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Back Injury Sidelines Olympian Rie Tanaka
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Japanese Olympian Rie Tanaka is likely out of competition for the year because of a chronic back problem, Kyodo News reported Monday. Tanaka, who turns 26 in June, had stated last fall that she planned to continue competing. However, the back condition will prevent her from competing in May's Japanese national championships, the first qualifier for this year's world gymnastics championships in Antwerp. Tanaka has suffered from spondylolysis, a defect of the lumbar vertebra, since high school.

At the 2012 Olympics in London, Tanaka placed 16th all-around and helped the Japanese women place eighth in the team final. Her brothers, Kazuhito Tanaka and Yusuke Tanaka, were members of the Japanese men's squad that won the silver medal in London.

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