Kohei Uchimura, forced to adjust his Olympic expectations due to shoulder injuries, won his fifth national horizontal bar title on Sunday and called it an important step toward the Summer Games.

Kohei Uchimura performs on his way to winning the horizontal bar final at the national gymnastics championships at Takasaki Arena in Gunma Prefecture, eastern Japan, on Dec. 13, 2020. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

The two-time defending Olympic men's overall champion, Uchimura has set his sights on qualifying instead on the horizontal bar, on which he scored 15.700 points at the national championships at Takasaki Arena in Gunma Prefecture.

His first horizontal bar championship in three years came roughly seven months before the start of next summer's postponed Tokyo Olympics on July 23.

"Setting aside results and points, my target coming in was to deliver a solid performance, and I think I have accomplished that," said Uchimura, who turns 32 in January.

"This was an extremely important day as I work toward the Olympics."

In the men's overall, Kazuma Kaya scored a total of 173.764 points. He was also the top scorer in qualifying.

Eighteen-year-old Takeru Kitazono was second with 173.262 after finishing seventh in the qualifying. Kakeru Tanigawa, who was seeking his third straight title, scored 173.096 to finish third along with his brother Wataru.

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