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We haven’t received the official word about whether defending world all-around champion Kohei Uchimura will be able to fight through his shoulder injury and compete in this year’s all-around, but speculation thus far suggests he very well may not. If Uchimura does, in fact, drop out of the all-around race that was his to lose, the competition will instantly change from a battle for silver into an exciting and wide open battle for the gold.

The Japanese

It could very well be one of Kohei’s teammates who steps up and seizes the moment. Although only two per country are allowed to advance to the all-around finals, there are at least three other very formidable all-arounders on the Japanese team:

Koji Yamamuro, second behind Uchimura at both the Japan Cup (91.1) and NHK Cup this year (90.525, 90.5)) and 3rd at the Japanese Nationals

Koji Uematsu, third at the NHK Cup (88.75, 90.15) and 2nd at the Japanese Nationals

Kazuhito Tanaka, fourth at the NHK Cup (89.05, 90.7)

The Chinese

China left off a couple of its individual world champions (Zou Kai and Zhang Hongtao) in favor of several all-arounders, who now appear in serious contention for the medal podium:

Teng Haibin, 2004 Olympic pommel horse champion who led the all-around prelims at the recent Chinese nationals with a 90.95

Lu Bo, 3rd at the recent Chinese nationals with an 89.75

Chen Yibing, third in prelims at recent Chinese nationals with an 89.5

Feng Zhe, winner of the spring Chinese nationals with an 89.3

Zhang Chenglong, 2nd at the spring Chinese Nationals with an 88.9

The Americans

Jonathan Horton, two-time national champion appears back on his game, 90.35 and 91.3 at the nationals

Danell Leyva, 2nd at the U.S. Nationals (89.35, 90.0) with newfound confidence as an all-arounder

Brandon Wynn, s surprise third place at nationals, scored 88.7 and 90.0

Chris Brooks, still hampered by an ankle injury, but a contender if he hits, scored 89.9 at the American Cup and 89.5 on Day 2 of nationals

The Russians

Maxim Devyatovsky, American Cup champion (90.6) and 2nd in the worlds qualifications last year

Sergei Khorokhordin, Russian Cup champion with an 89.55

Daivd Belyavsky, 4th at the Japan Cup with an 89.15

Others

Phillip Boy, Germany, scored a 91.05 to win a tri-meet between Germany, Romania, and Switzerland

Kim Soo Myun, Korea, third at the Japan Cup with an 89.85

Flavius Koczi, Romania, won the Romanian Nationals with a 90.1

One thing is for certain…the men’s all-around in Rotterdam is going to yield some big surprises and could be one of the most unpredictable men’s all-around finals ever. Uchimura’s potential withdrawal could become the opportunity of a lifetime for one of these 18 gymnasts, or perhaps another unsuspected new star.