12 June, 2023

Nakamura Haruka Shines at Asian Junior Artistic Gymnastics Championships, Continuing Japan’s Dominance

Singapore, 11 JUNE 2023 – A day after Tanida Masaharu wowed fans at the OCBC Arena with his dominant two-gold performance, Nakamura Haruka showed that anything the Japanese guys can do, the Japanese girls can do it just as well.

Haruka, the reigning world junior all-round and team gold medallist, put in a stellar performance at the Asian Junior Artistic Gymnastics Championships that left little doubt that the 15-year-old will be a world star in the near future.

At March’s Junior World Championships in Turkey, Haruka upstagged fanciedgymnasts from the United States and Italy en-route to her two-gold haul. In Singapore, she again reigned supreme with her poise, precision and power. She scored 51.500 points over four apparatus, ahead of China’s Tian Zhuofan (50.300) and Chinese Taipei’s Wu Yu-Jhih (49.450).

Japan’s Nakamura Haruka impressed the crowd at the OCBC Arena with a masterful display of poise, precision and power. PHOTO CREDIT: Joyce Wong

The Japanese team comprising Haruka, Takahara Nako, Umemoto Sawa and Watanabe Remi combined to chalk up 151.450 points, leaving China (150.600) and Chinese Taipei (145.550) to settle for the silver and bronze respectively.Japan have won all four gold medals on offer so far (men’s and women’s team and individual all-round titles) at these championships.

Singapore’s Isabelle Marie Lau was the top South-east Asian performer, finishing 17th out of 41 athletes. PHOTO CREDIT: Emily Chan

Ever the perfectionist, Haruka said there was room for improvement despite her double gold – especially on the balance beam, where she scored 12.550, the lowest of her four apparatus.Said the Osaka native: “My balance beam could have been better but overall, I am pleased with my performance.

“Coming into this event having won at the Junior World Championships, there was some pressure and expectation to do well. But we have been practising a lot and I am glad that we managed to win.

”Singapore’s Isabelle Marie Lau emerges as top South-east Asian

An energetic home crowd had added reason to cheer today as Isabelle Marie Lau finished 17th out of 41 athletes. She was the highest-placed South-east Asian female, ahead of Malaysia’s Hannah Yasmeen Mazwan in 18th spot.

“It was my first time competing at such a big event on home soil so I was a bit nervous when I saw the crowd,” said Isabelle, 14.

“But I focused on what I normally do in training and once I got into my routine, I felt better. I performed better than expected and enjoyed the great atmosphere of the fans cheering us on.”

The competition will continue today with the men’s and women’s junior individual apparatus finals. The top eight gymnasts in each apparatus after the individual all-around competition qualify for the finals. Each country is capped at having only two gymnasts in each of the apparatus finals. For the men’s competition, Singapore will be represented by Asher Pua (pommel horse) and Jovi Loh (pommel horse and parallel bars).

Results for Sunday, June 11

Women’s Junior Team:

1) Japan

Nakamura Haruka, Takahara Nako, Umemoto Sawa, Watanabe Remi

2) China

Qin Xinyi, Tian Zhuofan, Wang Hao, Wu Sihan, Yu Hanyue

3) Chinese Taipei

Chao Pin-Yen, Tsai Ai-Jie, Wang Tz-Chin, Wu Yu-Jhih Yang Ko-Wen


 Women’s Junior Individual All-Around:

1) Nakamura Haruka (Japan) 51.500
2) Tian Zhuofan (China) 50.300
3) Wu Yu-Jhih (Chinese Taipei) 49.450