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March IG to Feature Kohei Uchimura
(7 votes, average 4.43 out of 5)

IG recently secured an exclusive interview with Kohei Uchimura, who has strung together every major all-around title since 2009. Our feature on him, called "The Savior," appears in the March IG, which mails next week. Within the story, we did some math using his scores from the all-around finals during his six-year reign, and they are astounding. His average event score was 15.392. His average all-around total was 92.351. Besides vault, where virtually every all-arounder scores high, his best apparatus average was on floor exercise, with 15.530. His 'worst' was pommel horse: 15.105. So in that sense, he's like many other all-arounders. Just a lot better.

By now, most fans have seen Uchimura's floor exercise during the 2014 world all-around final. He stuck every landing, never appeared to break form, and even congratulated himself afterward with a fist pump. He knows how hard it is to do what he did. His 15.766 was the top floor score that day, as was his 9.166 E-score. It's that 9.166, however, that had most people scratching their head. Cut and paste that routine into the 1988 Olympics and it gets a 10.0, or maybe a 9.9 from the stingy judge. Here are some of the YouTube comments below that video.

How can you ever deduct this routine? … Really, judges, with all due respect, could you please explain those .8 in deductions? … That’s the cleanest floor routine I’ve seen in my life. … Absolute perfection.

We asked Uchimura about that 9.166, and this was his response: "I was not surprised. I think that I had some problems in my routine."

Was he just being politically correct? Even in slow motion that routine looked perfect. Which begs the question, What's the point of starting the execution score from 10 if achieving a 9.0 is almost impossible?

Regardless, Uchimura probably contradicted himself, at least a little, when we asked for his opinion about the current Code of Points.

"I think that the good point in the Code is finding new skills and combinations. However, I would like to get higher E-scores for beauty and elegance."

Was not his floor routine both beautiful and elegant? It may have been the best competitive men's floor exercise performance in history when you consider the level of difficulty these guys have to perform.

Uchimura opens up about several other issues in this story: fatherhood, frustrations and the best advice he ever received.

Also included in the March IG: Jessica Lopez profile; Alla Sosnitskaya interview; 10 Questions With Stella Umeh (prepare to be inspired!); 10 Things to Like About Simone Biles; a tribute to long-time photographer Jeff Sipsey; and much more.

Comments (2)add comment

Meg said:

I find that title severely offensive. The name Savior is only meant to refer to Jesus Christ, not someone who is just a medal-winner, regardless of how good they are. Please respect your readers of faith and find a more appropriate title.
February 21, 2015
Votes: -1

Ja33 said:

Nothing is perfect but Koji is as close to it as anyone can be. He deserves every score he gets and is even underscored compared to everyone else especially Epke on high bar
February 22, 2015
Votes: -1

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