50 worldwide contenders for 2012: Kohei Uchimura

Artistic gymnastics


Born: 03/01/89

Career highlights

The Olympic silver medallist made history in October 2011 as the first gymnast to win three consecutive all-around world titles. His latest success was achieved by a huge three-point margin, and the following day he won the floor exercise.

Uchimura earned all-around gold the previous year despite searing pain from an inflamed shoulder. Runner-up Jonathan Horton described him as "a machine".

Did you know?

In April 2011 he set the highest all-around score (94.9) in men's gymnastics since the scoring system was changed in 2006. His achievement came at Japan's national championships.

Career background

He began gymnastics at the age of three at his parents' sports club. Uchimura's first competition was at age six and he finished last.

When asked what attracts him to gymnastics, Uchimura has said he simply "likes twisting and turning".