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Uchimura Wins Japanese Title
(6 votes, average 4.83 out of 5)

Kohei Uchimura

2008 Olympians Kohei Uchimura and Koko Tsurumi won the Japanese National Championships, which concluded Sunday in Niigata.

Uchimura, the 2008 Olympic all-around silver medalist, edged Kazuhito Tanaka by .150 in the all-around final. The 19-year-old Uchimura is the first teenager to win the title since Naoya Tsukahara won in 1996. (Tsukahara finished 14th all-around in Niigata.)

Uchimura was the top gymnast in Friday's preliminaries — which also served as the apparatus finals — and Saturday's all-around final.

"It's good that I won," Uchimura said Saturday. "I was frustrated when I got second at the intercollegiate championships after the Olympics, so I wanted to win this competition. I didn't care when came close to me. However, when my teammate told me he might beat me, I thought I would be second again. Today, I was doing well on the first four apparatus, but in the last two events I was tired and I couldn't make the exercises I wanted. However it's good that I didn't make any mistakes. Because of the pain in my lower back, I didn't do the training to go through all six events the past two days, so I think it's extremely good that I didn't any mistakes in any events."

Two-time Olympian Hiroyuki Tomita, the national champion from 2004-2007, skipped the competition.

"Tomita is a role model," Uchimura said. "I don't know whether I can catch up to him or not. I want to try my best to be close to him."

Tomita and Uchimura will compete Nov. 14-15 in the Toyota International Cup, along with 2008 Olympic teammates Takehiro Kashima, Makoto Okiguchi and Koki Sakamoto.

On Sunday, Uchimura led Nippon Sport Science University to the team title. Two-time world all-around bronze medalist Hisashi Mizutori was a member of the runner-up Tokusyukai team, which also included 2008 Olympian Takuya Nakase. Okiguchi, with a 15.650 on floor exercise and 16.150 on vault, helped KONAMI place third.

Koko Tsurumi

Tsurumi, who finished eighth on beam at the 2008 Olympics, won the all-around Saturday (60.800) after placing second to Miki Uemura in Friday's preliminaries.

"I was nervous because [on Friday] I made mistakes with new elements," said Tsurumi, 16. "I've tried to make sure to do them in the training, and today I could do them as I did in the training. I was shocked when I made a mistake on the landing of my double-twisting Yurchenko. However, I'm good at the other three events, so I concentrated on them without giving up. On uneven bars, I was doing well, but I didn't hit one handstand, although I ended up with the good landing. I thought it would be impossible to win without getting a high score there, so I was relieved when I got the score (16.200). Before the competition, I didn't care about my successive victories so much. Now, however, I'm really glad that I won Japanese Nationals three consecutive years."

During Friday's apparatus finals, Uemura won both vault and floor exercise.

"Although at the All-Japan Non-Student Championships I wasn't highly motivated, when I came to this competition I started feeling better," Uemura said. "I was training two kinds of vaults and I'm glad to win the vault final. I didn't expect to win on floor."

On Sunday, Tsurumi improved to 61.100 to lead the Asahi club to the team title.

The Japanese women's lineup for the Toyota International is Tsurumi, Mayu Kuroda, Keiko Mukumoto and Kyoko Oshima.

Click here to download full results.

2008 Japanese National Championships
Oct. 31-Nov. 2, Niigata

Men's Team Final
1. Nippon Sport Science University 359.550
2. Tokusyukai G.C. 358.550
3. KONAMI 357.750
4. Juntendo University 356.800
5. Sosyukai G.C. 347.000
6. Sendai University 342.300
7. Sohgoh G.C. 341.300
8. Nihon University 340.500

Women's Team Final
1. Asahi LI GC 279.250
2. Nippon Sport Science University 273.000
3. Toda City SC 268.000
4. Legic Sports 259.400
5. Kyoto Jumping GC 256.800
6. Shitennoji SC 253.650
7. Tsukuba University 242.000
8. Kokushikan University 239.400

Men's All-Around Final
1. Kohei Uchimura 91.900
2. Kazuhito Tanaka 91.750
3. Koji Yamamuro 90.600
4. Ryosuke Baba 89.800
5. Yusuke Tanaka 89.600
6. Yosuke Hoshi 89.550
7. Koji Uematsu 89.450
8. Hisashi Mizutori 89.400
8. Kenji Nishimine 89.400
10. Kazuya Ueda 89.300

Women's All-Around Final
1. Koko Tsurumi 60.800
2. Yuko Shintake 58.900
3. Miki Uemura 58.750
4. Kyoko Oshima 58.500
5. Yu Minobe 58.000
5. Keiko Mukumoto 58.000
7. Manami Ishizaka 57.700
8. Yoshino Taniguchi 57.050
9. Mayu Kuroda 56.650
10. Rie Tanaka 56.250

Men's Preliminaries
1. Kohei Uchimura 91.750
2. Yosuke Hoshi 91.100
3. Koji Yamamuro 90.450
3. Koji Uematsu 90.450
5. Hisashi Mizutori 89.900
6. Naoya Tsukahara 89.700
7. Kazuhito Tanaka 89.550
7. Kenya Kobayashi 89.550
9. Takehito Mori 89.450
10. Eichi Sekiguchi 89.400

Women's Preliminaries
1. Miki Uemura 59.200
2. Koko Tsurumi 59.000
3. Yuko Shintake 58.550
4. Kyoko Oshima 58.300
5. Keiko Mukumoto 58.000
6. Rie Tanaka 57.800
7. Manami Ishizaka 57.650
8. Yu Minobe 57.500
9. Mai Yamagishi 56.350
10. Momoko Ozawa 56.000

Men's Floor Exercise
1. Makoto Okiguchi 15.350
2. Kohei Uchimura 15.300
2. Eichi Sekiguchi 15.300
2. Koji Yamamuro 14.500
5. Go Tagashira 15.150
6. Yosuke Hoshi 15.100
6. Mitsuyasu Ota 15.100
8. Kenji Nishimine 15.050
8. Koji Uematsu 15.050

Pommel Horse
1. Yosuke Hoshi 15.000
2. Kohei Uchimura 14.750
3. Koji Yamamuro 14.700
4. Yuto Hayami 14.550
5. Kazuya Ueda 14.500
6. Yasuhito Konishi 14.450
6. Tomoharu Sano 14.450
6. Kohei Kameyama 14.450

Still Rings
1. Koji Yamamuro 15.250
2. Hiroyuki Mine 15.200
2. Kenya Kobayashi 15.200
2. Takuya Nakase 15.200
5. Kohei Uchimura 15.150
5. Naoya Tsukahara 15.150
5. Satoshi Arai 15.150
8. Tomoharu Sano 15.100

Men's Vault
1. Go Tagashira 16.000
2. Kenya Kobayashi 15.900
3. Makoto Okiguchi 15.800
4. Kazuma Hiyama 15.600
5. Eichi Sekiguchi 15.525
6. Yasuhi Mukumoto 15.175

Parallel Bars
1. Kazuhito Tanaka 15.850
2. Naoya Tsukahara 15.750
3. Yosuke Hoshi 15.700
4. Takehito Mori 15.600
5. Kazutoshi Sotomura 15.550
6. Kohei Uchimura 15.500
7. Yusuke Tanaka 15.450
7. Koji Uematsu 15.450

High Bar
1. Eichi Sekiguchi 15.950
2. Koji Uematsu 15.600
3. Kazuhito Tanaka 15.400
4. Mitsuyasu Ota 15.350
5. Yosuke Hoshi 15.200
5. Ryuta Nakazato 15.200
7. Takuya Nakase 15.150
7. Hisashi Mizutori 15.150

Women's Vault
1. Miki Uemura 13.825
2. Mizuho Nagai 13.775
3. Tomoko Kato 13.650
4. Ayako Tanaka 13.350
5. Yuki Ota 13.300
6. Chinami Otaki 13.275
7. Arisa Tominaga 11.525

Uneven Bars
1. Mayu Kuroda 15.500
2. Yuko Shintake 15.200
3. Miki Uemura 14.900
3. Koko Tsurumi 14.900
5. Kyoko Oshima 14.850
6. Keiko Mukumoto 14.600
7. Rie Tanaka 14.500
8. Arisa Tominaga 14.400

Balance Beam
1. Koko Tsurumi 15.500
1. Yuko Shintake 15.500
3. Miki Uemura 15.450
4. Yu Minobe 15.300
4. Keiko Mukumoto 15.300
6. Kyoko Oishi 15.100
6. Momoko Ozawa 15.100
8. Manami Ishizaka 15.000

Women's Floor Exercise
1. Miki Uemura 14.700
2. Kyoko Oshima 14.650
3. Yu Minobe 14.600
4. Yoshino Taniguchi 14.250
5. Rie Tanaka 14.200
6. Shizuka Tozawa 14.150
7. Koko Tsurumi 14.100
8. Keiko Mukumoto 14.050

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