Japan Announces Their 2023 World Gymnastics Championships Team
Updated: Jun 18
For most of the world, the world championships are a chance for countries to send the best of the best to compete. Due to a scheduling conflict, teams from Asia have to decide if they are going to send their best to the 2023 World Gymnastics Championships or to the 2023 Asian Games.
Because Japan has already qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games based on their performance at the 2022 World Gymnastics Championships, they have opted to not send their highest-scoring team to the World Championships. Instead, they will utilize send some of their best gymnasts to the World Championships and some to the Asian Games.
2022 World and 2020 Olympic All-Around Champion Hashimoto Daiki had been automatically selected to the 2023 World Championships Team based on his performance in Liverpool last year. Though injured, his score of 87.4 at the East Japan Student Championships is the highest-known all-around score this year. Should he stay healthy, his is in position to defend his all-around title.
After serving as alternate for the 2022 World Championships Team, 2020 Olympian, Kaya Kazuma firmly secured his spot on the 2023 team by placing 2nd at the NHK Cup in May 2023. The third and final automatically qualified spot came down to a nail-biter in the final rotation. With four gymnasts in the running separated by .346, spectators heald their breath as Tanigawa Wataru and Sugimoto Kaito finished on high bar and Miwa Teppei and Chiba Kenta finished on floor. In the end, Miwa Teppei secured his spot on his first major international team
The final two team members were selected based on results from the All-Japan Event Finals in June. Joining Hashimoto, Kaya, and Miwa are Minami Kazuki and Chiba Kenta. This will be Chiba's first appearance at a world championship. 2021 World Floor Silver medalist, Minami is possibly the most-anticipated gymnast to watch at this year's world championships. Though one of the best floor workers in the world, he has never been selected for a team world championship,
His impressive tumbling abilities and sky-high start value make him a favorite for this year's world title. As a power gymnast, he is also exceptional on vault. Based on his performances this year, he will also be a contender to make the vault final. However, due to his relatively low start value average, it is unlikely that he would medal there without an upgrade.
Competitors for the 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games will be announced at a later date.
Article by: Kensley Behel