Uchimura focus back on sixth all-around title

Uchimura led Japan to a first team title in 37 years on Wednesday night ahead of Britain and China despite falling off the high bar, and he also fell during the floor routine in qualifying. The 26-year-old had made winning the team title his priority in Glasgow, and now that he has given Japan their first gold since 1978 he will be focusing on his personal ambitions.

Team Japan celebrates with Kohei Uchimura (center) after winning the gold medal during the men's team final competition.   -  AP

Kohei Uchimura warned that he would put aside a shaky start and give a perfect performance to claim a sixth consecutive all-around title at the world gymnastics championships in Glasgow on Friday.

Uchimura led Japan to a first team title in 37 years on Wednesday night ahead of Britain and China despite falling off the high bar, and he also fell during the floor routine in qualifying.

The 26-year-old had made winning the team title his priority in Glasgow, and now that he has given Japan their first gold since 1978 he will be focusing on his personal ambitions.

But he knows there will be little room for error as he bids for a ninth world gold with Oleg Verniaiev of the Ukraine qualifying just 0.433 behind the Japanese star.

Verniaiev, 21, continues to grow in confidence after a successful 2014 during which he won the overall World Cup series. And after claiming the European all-around title he is considered a contender for the crown of 'King Kohei' who has won every world title since 2009.

"I really wanted to have a perfect routine, so I feel really bad," said Uchimura of his falls. "I had some mistakes. The next time I don't want to have any mistakes at all."

Britain's Max Whitlock, the 2014 all-around silver medallist and teammate Daniel Purvis will also be looking to add to the hosts' medal tally after a first world men's team medal.

China's Deng Shudi and Xiao Ruoteng will be targeting gold after losing their team title to end a 12-year domination of the event.

"There is pressure but we'll try to do better in the all-around," said Deng.

American Danell Leyva and Uchimura's teammate Kazuma Kaya are also in the chase for the podium along with Russia's David Belyavskiy, after his team finished fourth. Russia have not won a men's all-around medal since 2009.

"I will fight hard in the all-around final, and I hope everything goes for the best. Anything can happen. It's time to move on," said Belyavskiy, 23.

Cuba's Manrique Larduet will be looking to impress on his world championship debut after his silver medal at this summer's Pan American Games.

But few doubt that Uchimura will be on the top of the podium despite his errors.

"He's in a class of his own this man," said France's Axel Augis. "He knows how to do everything and can do even more, but he has put his personal ambitions aside to help the Japanese team. That in itself is extraordinary."

Uchimura has won five Olympic medals including the 2012 all-around gold, and 17 world medals — eight in gold — but is already looking towards Rio 2016 and beyond for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The only title now missing from his collection is the Olympic team gold. "We need to think how to win in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and afterwards," he said

The competition continues on Thursday with US star Simone Biles bidding for a record third consecutive women's world all-around title faced with the challenge of teammate Olympic all-around gold medallist Gabby Douglas.

Both Biles, 18, and Douglas, 19, have already won team gold with the United States in Glasgow this week.

Switzerland's Giulia Steingruber qualified for the final in a surprise second place behind Biles with Douglas in third and is bidding for her first world medal.

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