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Japan's gymnastics stars aim for an Olympic team gold

Wednesday, March 02, 2016 - 01:17

Japan's gymnastics stars, gold medalist Kohei Uchimura and up-and-coming Kenzo Shirai, aim for a team gold at the Rio De Janeiro Summer Olympic Games. Julie Noce reports.

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koh-hey-EE oo-chee-murah Kohei Uchimura is trying to make history. He's going for the gold in Rio with Japan's mens gymnastics team. And he COULD be the first in more than 40 years to win back-to-back Olympic all-around titles. But for Uchimura there's no " I " in team. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) OLYMPIC GYMNAST, KOHEI UCHIMURA, SAYING: "Right now I'm not concerned about winning back to back Olympic all-around gold. I don't feel any pressure about it. All I can think about is how much I want team gold. That's everything." In the Beijing and London Olympics, the Japanese team played second fiddle to China, whose risky moves often outshone the more cautious Japanese approach. This time, Japan has to step outside of their comfort zone while maintaining a level of perfection. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) THE HEAD COACH OF JAPAN'S NATIONAL GYMNASTICS TEAM, HISASHI MIZUTORI, SAYING: "The young athletes are doing riskier stuff as we get closer to the Rio Olympics. They are young and full of energy. I think it will be a team that grows very fast even in a short time as it aims for gold medals in Rio." Japan took team gold at five successive Olympics from 1960 to 1976 but had to wait until Athens in 2004 to reach the top of the podium again.

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Japan's gymnastics stars aim for an Olympic team gold

Wednesday, March 02, 2016 - 01:17