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Rio Games: Pokemon chasing proves costly for Japanese Olympian

August 03, 2016 21:44 IST
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Gymnast Kohei Uchimura

Kohei Uchimura's bid to become the first gymnast in more than 40-years to win back-to-back Olympic all-around gymnastics golds began with a costly error as his as addiction to Pokemon Go landed him with a near $5,000 phone bill.

The man known as ‘Super-mura’, who has won a record six successive world all-around titles, was persuaded by his teammates to download the game shortly after touching down in Sao Paulo for a pre-Games training camp last week.

But rather than getting a buzz at playing a game that has turned into a global craze over the past weeks, Uchimura was left with a mighty headache when he clapped eyes on his data roaming bill.

“500,000 yen ($4,940),” a red-faced Uchimura told Kyodo News.

Teammate Kenzo Shirai added: "He looked dead at the team meal that day."

The bill would have capped a frustrating few days for the 27-year-old as he is unlikely to have captured any Pokemon as the game is not officially available in Brazil.

However, such is Uchimura's standing in his homeland that his mobile phone company agreed to waive the bulk of the cost after he explained his mistake -- and instead implemented a flat rate roaming charge of around $30 a day.

"I really lucked out," said Uchimura, who blocked out his obsession of chasing after virtual reality monsters as he went through his paces during a training session with his Japanese teammates in the Rio Olympic Arena on Wednesday. 

Image: Gymnast Kohei Uchimura 

Photograph: Toru Hanai/Files/Reuters

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