Japanese Senior Championships Begin in Takasaki

Yu Minobe

After five months of waiting out a pandemic postponement, the Japanese gymnasts will finally get the chance to compete in Takasaki today, beginning with qualifications for the men and women, and concluding with an all-around final on Tuesday.

The program’s star, Mai Murakami, is expected to compete, as is Asuka Teramoto, who is slowly making her way back after suffering an Achilles injury earlier in the year, but the two you should keep an eye on here are the Hatakeda sisters. Hitomi, a member of the 2018 and 2019 world championships teams who took bronze at the American Cup this year, and first-year senior Chiaki, who competed at junior worlds last year, both showed up to training this weekend with some promising upgrades, and are hoping to make an early impression, though this competition doesn’t count toward the Olympic selection.

Notably not on the roster are 2016 Olympians Aiko Sugihara and Yuki Uchiyama, as well as Nagi Kajita, a member of the worlds teams in 2018 and 2019. But on the plus side, Sae Miyakawa will compete here, and it’ll be interesting to see how she looks now that she’s further removed from her abusive coaching situation. I was also delighted to see 2008 and 2012 Olympian Yu Minobe listed! Minobe announced last year that she was coming back from retirement, and she competed a couple of simple routines at the Senior Championships in 2019, but this is the first time we’ll see the now 30-year-old in action at a higher level.

Also keep an eye on 2019 worlds competitor Akari Matsumura, the strong vault and beam double threat Ayaka Sakaguchi, two-time world cup beam medalist Mana Oguchi, and 2018 Youth Olympic Games competitor Chiharu Yamada. As a special treat, we’ll also see Sri Lankan gymnast Milka Gehani competing as a guest. Gehani competed at the Youth Olympic Games in 2018 and made her worlds debut last year, finishing 114th in the all-around to likely secure the tripartite nomination for Tokyo 2020.

A full list of competitors is below. The women begin competing tomorrow, September 21, with the top groups going up on the 22nd, some of which will be streamed live beginning at 2:45 pm local time (which is 1:45 am EDT).

Kaho Aiyama, Seed Gymnastics
Hana Akaho, Sabae High School
Kyoka Akiyama, Tosu High School
Megumi Aoki, Kano Gymnastics
Mishira Bessho, Sohgoh
Yuka Bito, Kano Gymnastics
Yuna Endo, Fuji Sports Club
Mirea Fujiwara, Asahi Life
Milka Gehani, Asahi Life
Soyoka Hanawa, Kano Gymnastics
Nonoka Harada, Gym Net
Eri Harashima, Kagoshima Sports
Seri Haruguchi, Try Gymnastics
Chiaki Hatakeda, Central Sports
Hitomi Hatakeda, Central Sports
Koto Hasegawa, Asahi Life
Itoi Higashiyama, Seiai High School
Yuna Hiraiwa, Toda Sport
Mizuka Hirama, Seiai High School
Aki Hokane, Kyoto Jumping
Koharu Hosaka, Seiai High School
Yuka Hoshi, Sohgoh
Ai Yuna Ima, Seiai High School
Wakana Inagaki, Let’s Gymnastics
Karin Inokuchi, Seiai High School
Misato Ishikawa, Kanoya
Azumi Ishikura, Zero Gymnastics
Momoko Iwai, Asahi Life
Natsume Iwasaki, Asahi Life
Nanao Kando, Seed Gymnastics
Amane Kariya, Chukyo Gymnastics
Arisa Kasahara, Let’s Gymnastics
Riyu Kato, Sabae High School
Sanatsu Katsuno, Gym Net
Kai Kawaguchi, Gym Net
Runa Kawashima, Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank
Ayame Kitada, Kaorigaoka Liberté High School
Rina Kitagawa, Shitennoji High School
Chizuru Kobayashi, Kagoshima Sports
Miko Kobayashi, Tosu High School
Yumiko Kodama, Kano Gymnastics
Himawari Koga, Tosu Gymnastics
Mihona Koike, Shigakukan Gymnastics
Azuki Kokufugata, Gym Net
Tamaki Kondo, Sabae High School
Ayaka Kumano, Seiai High School
Kiko Kuwajima, Asahi Life
Rin Makibayashi, Let’s Gymnastics
Hinata Matsubara, MTS
Akari Matsumura, Gym Net
Aoiko Mineno, Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank
Yu Minobe, Yamanashi High School
Sae Miyakawa, Takasu Clinic
Shoko Miyata, Sabae High School
Nonoka Momii, Tosu Gymnastics
Marin Mune, Sabae High School
Mai Murakami, NSSU
Anna Nakai, Chukyo Gymnastics
Yumika Nakamura, NSSU
Izumi Nitta, Chukyo Gymnastics
Natsumi Ogawa, Zero Gymnastics
Shiori Ogawa, Niigata Gymnastics
Mian Ogoshi, Kano Gymnastics
Mana Oguchi, Oizumi Club
Yuri Okiyama, Try Gymnastics
Ayumi Okuma, Tosu High School
Moe Okuma, Oizumi Club
Karen Okusa, Oizumi Club
Ruri Omura, Chukyo Gymnastics
Misora Saito, Shitennoji High School
Ayaka Sakaguchi, Gym Net
Koyuna Sakakibara, Narawa Gymnastics
Mieko Sasaki,
Moe Sekizuka, Try Gymnastics
Yui Sekizuka, Try Gymnastics
Mikako Serita, Kano Gymnastics
Miu Shakema, Tosu High School
Riho Shigematsu, Tosu Gymnastics
Suzuka Shimizu, Seiai High School
Shizuku Sonezaki, Tosu Gymnastics
Hinata Sumito, Shitennoji High School
Kanna Suzuki, Zero Gymnastics
Nina Suzuki, Zero Gymnastics
Airei Tabata, Seiai High School
Tomiuka Tada, Kagoshima Sports
Yamabuki Tajima, Tosu Gymnastics
Himena Takada, Let’s Gymnastics
Ran Takagi, Sohgoh
Tomomi Takeuchi, Kagoshima Sports
Kotomi Taya, Zero Gymnastics
Asuka Teramoto, Miki House
Ako Tochihara, Asahi Life
Hikari Toyama, Seiai High School
Misaki Tsuji, MTS
Ryori Tsujimae, Try Gymnastics
Miho Tsutsui, Let’s Gymnastics
Kohane Ushioku, Let’s Gymnastics
Hazuki Watanabe, Chukyo Gymnastics
Kotomi Watanabe, Sohgoh
Chiharu Yamada, Asahi Life
Mio Yamamoto, Let’s Gymnastics
Rina Yamamoto, Sabae High School
Nao Yamashita, Let’s Gymnastics
Ririko Yamashita, W Gymnastics
Minami Yoshioka, Seiai High School
Wakano Yumi, Tosu High School
Sakura Yumoto, Narawa Gymnastics

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