Artistic Gymnastics

Uchimura Kohei tests negative for COVID-19 one day after positive test announced

Three-time Olympic champion appears to have had a false positive result earlier in the week

By Scott Bregman ·

Uchimura Kohei has tested negative for the coronavirus one day after news of his positive test was made public, according to the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG).

On Thursday, FIG president Morinari Watanabe announced that two-time defending Olympic all-around champion, Uchimura had positive. Friday, however, Watanbe confirmed that a second test take a day later showed Uchimura to be negative. The tests are part of preparations for 8 November's four-nation Friendship and Solidarity artistic gymnastics meet in Tokyo.

Uchimura will remain isolated in his room at the national training center and be monitored over the next six days. Negative COVID-19 tests on 4 and 5 November could allow the six-time World all-around champion to participate in the event, scheduled for 8 November.

"It is an extremely disappointing result but we will continue to observe the situation," said Watanabe on Thursday. "I know Uchimura was looking forward to this event so we want to go ahead with it however we can - for him, especially.

"If we had to cancel because of him, it would be unbearable for him. We want to avoid that at all costs."

Uchimura Kohei relieved: Pain-free at last

Three-time gold medallist and two-time Olympic men's all-around gymnastics ...

A return to international competition

The 31-year-old Uchimura only returned to competition last month for the first time in a year, as a horizontal-bar specialist targeting the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in 2021. Next weekend's Friendship and Solidarity competition could be Uchimura's first international event since the 2018 World Championships in Doha.

Since those Worlds - where Uchimura was reduced to just four of the six apparatus - the Japanese star has struggled to find the form that's made him arguably the greatest male gymnast of all time.

In Uchimura's absence on the world stage, a pair of Russians, Artur Dalaloyan and Nikita Nagornyy, have emerged as stars of the sport, taking the 2018 and 2019 World titles, respectively. Both Dalaloyan and Nagornyy are expected to compete at the event in Tokyo for Russia, along with 2019 World all-around bronze medallist Angelina Melnikova.

2017 U.S. champion and World floor bronze medallist Yul Moldauer leads Team USA's contingent.

Athlete Evolution: Kohei Uchimura

Kohei Uchimura's athletic evolution from the 2012 London Olympic Games to t...