Japanese gymnast Miyata Shoko secures spot for Paris 2024. GETTY IMAGES

Japan's top gymnast won her third consecutive NHK title. She did so despite a groin injury that severely affected her performance. Miyata will be in charge of a national team with no members from the Tokyo 2020 squad.

Miyata Shoko confirmed her status as Japan's best gymnast by winning her third consecutive NHK Trophy title. This victory, achieved last Saturday 18 May, secured her place at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The qualification of athletes for the Olympic Games always depends on the National Olympic Committees. They have the exclusive right to represent their respective countries at the Olympic Games. In this case, there is no doubt that Miyata is the best gymnast in her country.

The fact that she overcame a groin injury that prevented her from performing at her best makes her achievement all the more remarkable. Nevertheless, the gymnast amassed a total of 217.162 points over the four days of competition, which included this event and last month's All-Japan All-Around Championships at the Takasaki Arena in Gunma Prefecture.

"I wanted to end the day with a better performance, but I will have to save that for Paris," said Miyata, who is in charge of a Japanese women's team without any members of the Tokyo 2020 team, as reported by olympics.com. "I've had good and bad years in my life. I hope this year will be a good one."

"Miyata said, "I was really worried about the pain in the last two apparatuses. "I tried to stay focused and full of adrenaline, but I avoided jumping before the competition. I'm glad I didn't have to withdraw and was able to finish the day," she said.

Miyata injured her left groin last week while preparing for the NHK Trophy. The pain affected her. There were doubts about her performance. However, Miyata went on to win and secure her place at Paris 2024. She finished the competition with treatment. Ice was applied to the area to reduce swelling. 

Miyata Shoko is in pain on the floor due to her injury during the NHK Championship. GETTY IMAGES
Miyata Shoko is in pain on the floor due to her injury during the NHK Championship. GETTY IMAGES

Her participation on Friday put her qualification in jeopardy, but she returned to her best on Saturday to secure victory and a place at Paris 2024. Shoko Miyata will be 20 years old after the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and her greatest achievement to date is a bronze medal on the balance beam at the 2022 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. 

It was in this explosive and demanding event that she felt the intense pain and aggravated her groin injury during the NHK Trophy. The injury almost prevented her from qualifying.