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MURAKAMI Mai
Japan
JPN
Title
Ms
Lastname
MURAKAMI
Firstname
Mai
Gender
female
Country
Japan
Place of birth
Sagamihara
Year of birth
1996 (25 y.o.)
Discipline(s)
Women's Artistic Gymnastics
test img
Nickname
Rubber Ball Girl (hochi.news, 15 Feb 2020; Asahi Shimbun YouTube channel, 12 Oct 2017)
Hobbies
Hiking, watching movies, shopping. (hochi.news, 15 Feb 2020)
Occupation
Athlete
Education
Physical Education - Nippon Sport Science University, Tokyo, JPN
Spoken languages
Japanese
Club
Nippon Sport Science University Artistic Gymnastics Club [Yokohama, JPN]
Coach
Kyoko Seo [club], JPN; Hikaru Tanaka [national], JPN
International senior debut
2012 for Japan (jpn-gym.or.jp, 12 Oct 2014)
Injuries
She injured her left knee during training two days before the start of the 2021 NHK Cup in Tokyo, Japan, which also served as the national selection trials for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. She went on to claim victory in the all-around event. (sankei.com, 15 May 2021)

In 2019 she sustained an injury to her sacroiliac joint, which connects the lower spine to the pelvis. It meant that she withdrew from the 2019 NHK Cup, which served as a national team selection trial for the world championships that year, and required three months of rehabilitation. She had previously been troubled by back pain after the 2018 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, and also experienced back pain during 2020. (sanspo.com, 08 Sep 2020; hochi.news, 15 Feb 2020)

In 2011 she underwent surgery on her left elbow. (dot.asahi.com, 25 Oct 2019; jpn-gym.or.jp, 12 Oct 2014)
National Team
2010 (sponichi.co.jp, 31 Oct 2015)
Start sporting career
She began doing gymnastics at age three at Iketani Gymnastics Club in Tokyo, Japan. (sanspo.com, 12 Mar 2019)
Reason for taking up the sport
She was encouraged to take up the sport by her mother. (sanspo.com, 12 Mar 2019)
Milestones
She became the first Japanese female artistic gymnast to win a medal in an individual event at the Olympic Games, when she claimed bronze on floor exercise at the 2020 Games in Tokyo. It was the first time a Japanese female artistic gymnast had won a medal in any event at the Olympic Games for 57 years, after Japan secured bronze in the women's team event at the 1964 Games in Tokyo. (jiji.com, 02 Aug 2021; SportsDeskOnline, 30 Sep 2021)

At the 2018 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, she became the first female artistic gymnast representing Japan to win a silver medal in the individual all-around event at the world championships. Prior to that, two Japanese female artistic gymnasts had won world championship bronze medals in the individual all-around. (SportsDeskOnline, 01 Apr 2020; joc.or.jp, 19 Jan 2019)

In 2017 she became the second Japanese female artistic gymnast to win a gold medal at the world championships following her victory on the floor at the 2017 World Championships in Montreal, QC, Canada. The first was Keiko Ikeda, who won gold on the beam at the 1954 edition of the tournament. (SportsDeskOnline, 01 Apr 2020; hochi.news, 15 Feb 2020)
Most memorable sporting achievement
Winning bronze on floor exercise at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (Instagram profile, 02 Aug 2021; asahi.com, 02 Aug 2021)
Hero / Idol
Japanese artistic gymnast Kohei Uchimura. (tv-asahi.co.jp, 25 Sep 2021)
Most influential person in career
Her mother. (Instagram profile, 04 Aug 2021)
Philosophy / Motto
"Don't think whether you can do or you cannot do, but whether you will do or you will not do." (tv-asahi.co.jp, 25 Sep 2021)
Awards
In 2018 she was named Athlete of the Year by the Tokyo Sports Journalists Association in Japan and received the Female Big Sports Special Award at the Asahi TV Big Sports Awards in Japan. (sanspo.com, 19 Jan 2019; jpn-gym.or.jp, 12 Jan 2018)

In 2018 and 2017 she received the Gymnast of the Year Award from the Japan Gymnastics Association. (joc.or.jp, 19 Jan 2019; sanspo.com, 19 Jan 2019)
Additional information
General
OVERCOMING DOUBTS
After experiencing back problems, in 2019 she considered quitting the sport. She had already undertaken studies at Nippon Sport Science University with a view to a career after gymnastics. However, she ultimately decided to continue competing and went on to win bronze on the floor at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, which was the first Olympic medal won in an individual event by a Japanese female artistic gymnast. "As I felt like my performance level was declining just before entering university, my goal at university was to secure a decent job for the future. However, I wasn't able to leave the gymnastics scene yet, because I still genuinely loved the sport and wanted to win a medal at the Olympic Games. I had regrets about my performance on floor at the 2016 edition in Rio de Janeiro. In 2019 I felt like my prime was over after my back issues, so I was thinking it might be best to quit at some point in 2019 or 2020. But I was able to continue until Tokyo 2020, as I heard that people still wanted to see my performance, so that motivated me to keep working hard." (the-ans.jp, 24 Aug 2021; SportsDeskOnline, 30 Sep 2021)

OTHER ACTIVITIES
She appeared in television dramas and advertisements in Japan when she was a child. (sponichi.co.jp, 31 Oct 2015)

Last update : 2021-09-30

Olympic Games

2021 - Games of the XXXII Olympiad TOKYO (JPN)

All-Around
Rank Final
5
Score Final
56.032 
Rank Qualif.
23
Score Qualif.
53.965 
Vault
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
11
Score Qualif.
14.466
Uneven Bars
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
64
Score Qualif.
12.133
Balance Beam
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
21
Score Qualif.
13.466
Floor Exercise
Rank Final
3
Score Final
14.166
Rank Qualif.
8
Score Qualif.
13.933
Team
Rank Final
5
Score Final
163.280
Rank Qualif.
8
Score Qualif.
162.662

2016 - Games of the XXXI Olympiad RIO DE JANEIRO (BRA)

All-Around
Rank Final
14
Score Final
56.665 
Rank Qualif.
9
Score Qualif.
57.265 
Uneven Bars
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
38
Score Qualif.
14.166
Balance Beam
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
34
Score Qualif.
13.833
Floor Exercise
Rank Final
7
Score Final
14.533
Rank Qualif.
8
Score Qualif.
14.566
Team
Rank Final
4
Score Final
174.371
Rank Qualif.
7
Score Qualif.
172.564
World Championships

2018 - 48th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships DOHA (QAT)

All-Around
Rank Final
2
Score Final
55.798 
Rank Qualif.
3
Score Qualif.
55.632 
Uneven Bars
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
24
Score Qualif.
13.666
Balance Beam
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
12
Score Qualif.
13.433
Floor Exercise
Rank Final
3
Score Final
13.866
Rank Qualif.
2
Score Qualif.
14.100
Team
Rank Final
6
Score Final
160.262
Rank Qualif.
6
Score Qualif.
162.180

2017 - 47th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships MONTREAL (CAN)

All-Around
Rank Final
4
Score Final
54.699 
Rank Qualif.
1
Score Qualif.
55.933 
Uneven Bars
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
17
Score Qualif.
13.900
Balance Beam
Rank Final
4
Score Final
13.066
Rank Qualif.
8
Score Qualif.
13.200
Floor Exercise
Rank Final
1
Score Final
14.233
Rank Qualif.
2
Score Qualif.
14.200

2015 - 46th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships GLASGOW (GBR)

All-Around
Rank Final
6
Score Final
57.132 
Rank Qualif.
10
Score Qualif.
56.366 
Uneven Bars
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
30
Score Qualif.
13.700
Balance Beam
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
39
Score Qualif.
13.666
Floor Exercise
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
18
Score Qualif.
14.100
Team
Rank Final
5
Score Final
169.887
Rank Qualif.
6
Score Qualif.
223.863

2014 - 45th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships NANNING (CHN)

All-Around
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
160
Score Qualif.
41.008 
Vault
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
13
Score Qualif.
14.200
Uneven Bars
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
41
Score Qualif.
13.533
Floor Exercise
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
77
Score Qualif.
12.775
Team
Rank Final
8
Score Final
165.422
Rank Qualif.
6
Score Qualif.
221.360

2013 - 44th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships ANTWERP (BEL)

All-Around
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
91
Score Qualif.
29.024 
Vault
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
12
Score Qualif.
14.345
Floor Exercise
Rank Final
4
Score Final
14.466
Rank Qualif.
5
Score Qualif.
14.466
World / Challenge Cup

2019 - American Cup All-Around FIG World Cup 2019 GREENSBORO (USA)

All-Around
Rank Final
4
Score Final
55.732 
Rank Qualif.
-
Score Qualif.
-

2018 - FIG Individual All-Around World Cup 2018 TOKYO (JPN)

All-Around
Rank Final
1
Score Final
56.532 
Rank Qualif.
-
Score Qualif.
-

2018 - American Cup Individual All-Around FIG World Cup 2018 CHICAGO ILLINOIS (USA)

All-Around
Rank Final
2
Score Final
55.633 
Rank Qualif.
-
Score Qualif.
-

2016 - AT&T American Cup World Cup 2016 C II NEWARK (USA)

All-Around
Rank Final
6
Score Final
54.431 
Rank Qualif.
-
Score Qualif.
-

2014 - Glasgow 2014 World Cup C II GLASGOW (GBR)

All-Around
Rank Final
5
Score Final
54.299 
Rank Qualif.
-
Score Qualif.
-