Uchimura, Shirai and Murakami to miss World Championships

Japan's team for Stuttgart is without three of its biggest names - Kohei Uchimura, Kenzo Shirai and Mai Murakami.

Double Olympic all-around champion Kohei Uchimura will miss October's World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.

Five-time world champion Kenzo Shirai, who won team gold with Uchimura at Rio 2016, is also out after performing poorly at last weekend's All-Japan Artistic Gymnastics Apparatus Championships.

Another high-profile absentee is 2017 world floor champion Mai Murakami who was second to Simone Biles in the all-around at last year's World Championships in Doha.

The Japan Gymnastics Association named its 10-strong team for Stuttgart after the All-Japan Apparatus Championships in Gunma.

Men's: Kakeru Tanigawa, Wataru Tanigawa, Kazuma Kaya, Daiki Hashimoto, Yuya Kamoto

Women's: Asuka Teramoto, Hitomi Hatakeda, Aiko Sugihara, Nagi Kagita, Akari Matsumara

Kohei Uchimura of Japan grimaces in pain at the 2019 All-Japan Artistic Gymnastics Individual All-Around Championships. (Photo by Toru Hanai/Getty Images)
Kohei Uchimura of Japan grimaces in pain at the 2019 All-Japan Artistic Gymnastics Individual All-Around Championships. (Photo by Toru Hanai/Getty Images)Kohei Uchimura of Japan grimaces in pain at the 2019 All-Japan Artistic Gymnastics Individual All-Around Championships. (Photo by Toru Hanai/Getty Images)

King Kohei's injury travails

Uchimura, 30, has struggled with injury over the past two years.

After failing to qualify for Japan's first selection event, last month's NHK Cup, he was forced to withdraw from the All-Japan Apparatus Championships where he was due to compete in the horizontal bar final.

The seven-time Olympic medallist (he also has a team gold, two team silvers, and two individual silvers) missed the cut for the NHK Cup when he finished 37th in all-around qualifying at the Japanese national championships.

Only the 30 all-around finalists from the nationals went through to the NHK Cup, where the gymnasts with the top three total scores secured selection for the World Championships.

They were the Tanigawa brothers, Kakeru and Wataru, and Kazuma Kaya.

Two further places were awarded at the All-Japan Apparatus Championships and these went to Yuya Kamoto and 17-year-old high school student Daiki Hashimoto.

Uchimura has been to every World Championships and Olympic Games since 2007.

His only hope of maintaining that record is if he receives a late call-up after an injury to one of the five men in the squad.

Shirai and Murakami miss out

Uchimura's Rio 2016 team-mate Shirai did compete at the All Japan Apparatus Championships.

But he managed just one podium finish - third place on the floor - which was not enough to make the cut.

Shirai, 22, will have to wait to add to his tally of 11 World Championship medals.

Murakami had already been deemed ineligible for selection after missing the NHK Cup with a back injury.

The 22-year-old was unable to gain an exemption from the Japanese federation and, despite winning the floor event in Gunma last weekend, will not be able to bid to regain the world title she won in 2017.

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