1970 Chunichi Cup Japan

1970: The Inaugural Chunichi Cup

In 1970, Japan held its first Chunichi Cup in the city of Nagoya. The field was a mix of established gymnasts like Nakayama and Köste and up-and-coming gymnasts like Korbut.

Eventually, the Chunichi Cup became one of the premier international competitions. For example, Tourischeva competed at the competition in 1972, and Nadia Comăneci did the same in 1976. But in 1970, very little was written about the meet.

What follows are the results, as well as the newspaper articles that I’ve unearthed in the archives.

Men’s Results

1. Nakayama
2T. Klimenko,
2T. Kasamatsu
4. Kato
5. Tsukahara,
6T. Köste,
6T. Brehme,

Women’s Results

1. Burda,
2T. Lazakovich,
2T. Korbut,
4. Řimnáčová,
5. Rigby,
6T. Hashiguchi
6T. Krásná,
8. Hanyu
9. Brázdová,
10. Hirashima
11. Carver,
The results from the 1970 and 1971 Chunichi Cups, taken from the 1972 Chunichi Cup Program; Photo of Nakayama and Dronova in 1971.

News Coverage

East German Coverage

Brehme and Köste Sixth in Japan

At the international gymnastics competitions in the Japanese city of Nagoya, which were very well attended, the two GDR athletes Matthias Brehme and Klaus Köste took sixth place with 55.75 points each. The hosts, who had their strongest gymnast in the multiple Olympic and world champion Nakayama Akinori (57.85), did not let the victory in this two-day event be taken away. Viktor Klimenko (USSR) and Kasamatsu Shigeru (Japan) finished second with 56.95 points each.

In the women’s category, the USSR dominated, with Lyubov Burda (38.10), Olga Korbut, and Tamara Lasakovich (37.60 each) taking the first three places.

Neues Deutschland, Dec. 7, 1970

Brehme und Köste in Japan Sechste

Bei international sehr gut besetzten Turnwettbewerben in der japanischen Stadt Nagoya belegten die beiden DDR-Sportler Matthias Brehme und Klaus Köste mit je 55,75 Punkten den sechsten Platz. Den Sieg in dieser zweitägigen Veranstaltung ließen sich die Gastgeber nicht nehmen, die in dem mehrfachen Olympiasieger und Weltmeister Akinori Nakayama (57,85) ihren stärksten Turner hatten. Viktor Klimenko (UdSSR) und Shigero Kasamatsu (Japan) belegten mit je 56,95 Punkten den zweiten Rang.

Bei den Frauen dominierte die UdSSR, die durch Ljubow Burda (38,10), Olga Korbut und Tamara Lasakowitsch (je 37,60) die ersten drei Plätze einnehmen konnte.

Weitere Platzierungen: Frauen: 4. Bohumila Rimnakova (CSSR) 37,40, 5. Cathay Rigby (USA) 37,35, 6. Kayoko Hashiguchi (Japan) und Luba Krasna (CSSR) je 37,25. Männer: 4. Sawao Kato (56,90), 5. Mitsuo Tsukahara (beide Japan) 56,80.

Japanese Coverage

Nagoya, Dec. 6 — Japan’s Akinori Nakayama today captured the men’s overall title and Ljubov Burda of the Soviet Union won the women’s championship on the closing day of a two-day international gymnastic contest in Nagoya.

Victor Klimenko of the Soviet Union and Shigeru Kasamatsu of Japan, each with 56.95 points, finished second behind Nakayama who had 57.85 points.

In the women’s division, Olga Korbut and Tamara Lazakovich, both of the Soviet Union, tied for second place with 37.60 points each, compared with Miss Burda’s winning total of 38.10.

Cathy Rigby of the US finished fifth in the women’s division with 37.35 points, behind Czechoslovakia’s Bohumila Rymnacova who collected 37.40 points for fourth place.

Eighteen gymnasts from Japan, the US, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Yugoslavia, and the Soviet Union participated in the competition.

The men performed the long horse, parallel bars, and horizontal bars [sic], and the women did the balance beams [sic] and floor exercises today.

The gymnasts will participate in an individual championships in Tokyo December 12-13.

The Daily Yomiuri, Dec. 7, 1970

Note: If I ever unearth more detailed coverage of this competition, I will update this page.

Appendix: A Note on Travel

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the number of gymnastics competitions began to expand. There are many reasons for this, but one of them was the availability of flights. Here’s what the National Air and Space Musem in the United States writes on its website:

Sweeping cultural changes in the 1960s and 1970s reshaped the airline industry. More people began to fly, and air travel became less exclusive. Between 1955 and 1972, passenger numbers more than quadrupled. By 1972 almost half of all Americans had flown, although most passengers were still business travelers. A small percentage became repeat travelers, or “frequent flyers.”

Source: The Evolution of the Commercial Flying Experience

Reminder: Sometimes, gymnasts traveled to competitions on ships, and it wasn’t always easy. Here’s what happened with the Japanese gymnasts have the 1958 World Championships in Moscow:

Gymnasts Stranded in Moscow

The Foreign Office will send the Toko Maru, 1100-ton Fisheries Agency research vessel, to Nahodka to bring home the Japanese team which participated in the recent world gymnastics championships in Moscow.

The Foreign Office decided to take this step after receiving a telegram from the 21-member delegation that it was stranded in the Soviet capital with no hope of obtaining passage on a Russian vessel at Nahodka. Fares and expenses were almost exhausted, the telegram added.

The Toko Maru had already been scheduled to leave Hakodate in Hakkaido July 15 with a party of fisheries experts for Nahodka under the terms of the Soviet-Japan fisheries pact to study salmon in Russian waters.

The Japanese boat is scheduled to reach Nahodka July 17 with the gymnasts boarding the following day.

Yomiuri Japan News, July 16, 1958

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