Japan's Kohei Uchimura reveals: "Everything from the neck down is painful"

The 3-time Olympic artistic gymnastic champion is suffering from pain in both shoulders ahead of the Japanese nationals

Kohei Uchimura is in pain.

The six-time all-around artistic gymnastics world champion is suffering from pain in both his shoulders ahead of the Japanese nationals which start on 26 April in Takasaki.

Uchimura, who is aiming to recapture the national all-around crown, admitted that he is plagued by injury.

"My body doesn't move the way I'd hoped it would at this point" - Kohei Uchimura to sanspo.com

He revealed that the left shoulder was injured after the World Championships's last October while the pain in the right shoulder began during the joint training camp with China this February.

"It's not only the shoulders, but everything from the neck down is painful." - Kohei Uchimura to sanspo.com

The 30-year-old is arguably the greatest gymnast of all time with seven Olympic and twenty-one World Championship medals to his name.

Domestically, Uchimura has won the most number of all-around titles. taking victory ten years in a row between 2008 and 2017.

At last year's nationals, upon his return from injury and still struggling with fitness issues, he was dethroned by then 19-year-old Kakeru Tanigawa.

All eyes on Tokyo 2020

Uchimura has been hampered by injury as of late.

During last year's world championships in October, he was still nursing a right-ankle injury.

Despite this he helped Japan qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games by finishing third in the team final behind China and Russia before he was forced to withdraw from the individual all-around event.

This year's nationals will be used to select the team for the upcoming world championships in Stuttgart, Germany in October.

But with Japan already qualified for Tokyo 2020, Uchimura could afford to focus on the bigger picture and get himself fully fit in time for his first Olympic Games on home soil.

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