The Japanese Kohei Uchimura, triple Olympic champion in artistic gymnastics and considered by many to be the best male gymnast in history, announced on Tuesday his retirement from sports at the age of 33.

“Uchimura’s stellar results over nearly a decade and a half made him the leading competitor of his day and led many to consider him the greatest male gymnast in history. His ability to perform difficult but flawless exercises, backed by an uncompromising drive for perfection elevated him above his international rivals, who began to refer to him as ‘Superman’ or ‘King Kohei’, “the International Gymnastics Federation stressed in a statement.

The Kitakyushu, which made its international debut in 2006, won a total of seven medals at the Olympic Games, including three golds, two in the individual general competition in 2012 and 2016, and another for teams in 2016.

In addition, it was silver in the general individual and team competition in 2008, and again in teams and on the ground in 2012. To this, it adds a total of 21 medals in World Cups, six of them gold in the individual competition. However, in the last Tokyo Games, he could not even reach the final of the bar, the only apparatus in which he competed, after committing a mistake, while two months later, in the World Cups, he could not even get on the podium.

FIG President Watanabe Morinari from Japan praised the figure of his compatriot, “one of the few gymnasts” who have been able to achieve perfection “both in difficulty and in execution.” “He showed the world a gymnastics that combined difficulty and beauty and solidarity and friendship. That is why he is the ‘King of gymnastics’,” he confessed.