Sixteen years later…

Here’s 1992 Chinese Olympian He Xuemei, trying to make the Japanese Olympic team in 2008.

He Xuemei, 2006 Japanese Championships:

Here’s He in 1993, at the World Championships in Birmingham, England. A great routine with loads of variety.

He Xuemei, 1993 World Championships Event Finals, Balance Beam:

She was quite unique on floor also, being one of the only women other than 1988 Olympic Champion Yelena Shushunova to throw a Thomas on floor exercise.

He Xuemei, 1992 Olympics Team Finals, Floor Exercise:

International Gymnast Magazine reports that 31-year-old He, competing under the Japanese name Setsubai Takaseki, is in 11th at the first of Japan’s two Olympic trials, going on in Tokyo. Japanese veteran Miki Uemura beat 15-year-old upstart Koko Tsurumi.

As a team, the Japanese women have never enjoyed tremendous success, although there have been some very nice routines done over the years, particularly Mayu Kuroda’s bars and Tsurumi’s beam at the 2007 World Championships.

On the men’s side, the competition appears to be taking a slightly bizarre turn. 2005 World Champion Hiroyuki Tomita was bested by 19-year-old Kohei Uchimura, and 2007 World bronze medalist Hisashi Mizutori finished 11th.

Kohei Uchimura, 2007 Bercy Event Finals, Vault:

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