This isn’t about history for Kohei Uchimura. This is about national pride, the perpetual chase of perfection and respect for his own considerable gifts.
Whether the Japanese star is the greatest male gymnast ever remains up for debate, though perhaps not for much longer. The sixth world title he won Friday night came with as much ease as any of the five that came before it.
There was never a doubt. Not from the near flawless opening floor exercise at the start of the night to the slightly watered down high bar routine that ended with Uchimura nailing the landing as if his feet were suctioned to the mat.
When his final score of 92.332 points was posted — more than 1.6 better than Cuban teenager Manrique Lardue and China’s Deng Shudi — the relentlessly self-controlled 26-year-old held up six fingers and flexed. It’s as close as he’ll ever get to a humble brag.