World gym champ Kohei Uchimura out of American Cup 2011
Doha (QAT); AGU office February 26, 2011: The American Cup is down to one world champion after an injury forced two-time men’s champ Kohei Uchimura out of next week’s meet.
Uchimura was bothered by an inflamed shoulder at the world gymnastics championships last fall, though the Olympic silver medalist from Japan still won his second straight title, finishing more than two points ahead of Germany’s Philipp Boy. Injuries also will keep China’s Jiang Yuyuan, silver medalist in the women’s all-around at worlds, and Lu Bo from competing at the March 5 meet in Jacksonville, Fla.
Samuel Hunter of Britain and Cyril Tommasone of France will replace Uchimura and Lu. Hannah Whelan replaced Jiang, and British teammate Nicole Hibbert will compete in place of Germany’s Elisabeth Seitz, who also withdrew.
Despite the withdrawals, the American Cup still has possibly the strongest lineup outside the world championships. Russia’s Aliya Mustafina, who won another gold and three silvers in addition to the all-around title at worlds, headlines the women’s field. Six of the top eight men at worlds are competing, including Boy and bronze medalist and two-time U.S. champion Jonathan Horton.
The American Cup is the first of four all-around events in gymnastics’ World Cup series. Past winners include Olympic champions Nadia Comaneci, Mary Lou Retton, Paul Hamm and Nastia Liukin.