Coach says Adelina Sotnikova, Sochi figure skating champion, won’t defend title
MOSCOW (AP) The coach of Adelina Sotnikova says the Olympic figure skating champion will not defend her title at next year’s Winter Games in Pyeongchang because of injury.
“Adelina Sotnikova will not compete this season because of injury,” her coach Evgeny Plushenko, himself a two-time Olympic gold medalist, said in comments reported by Russian agency R-Sport.
“We all hoped we’d get this injury cured, but unfortunately it hasn’t happened. The injury is still causing problems, (Sotnikova) can’t manage full training sessions and it’s not right to go to competitions in this state.”
Plushenko didn’t specify what injury was troubling Sotnikova, though the Russian has been struggling with ankle problems. He added that the announcement shouldn’t be seen as Sotnikova’s retirement from skating.
Sotnikova was a surprise gold medalist in 2014, beating South Korea’s Yuna Kim amid intense debate over the judging.
Sotnikova hasn’t competed at a major championships since then because of injuries and a heavy schedule of commercial performances and TV work, including the Russian version of “Dancing with the Stars.”
In April, she split with her longtime coach Elena Buyanova to join Plushenko, who had himself only recently retired.
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