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Javier Fernandez to skip Grand Prix, still compete next season

Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 8

GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 17: Bronze medal winner Javier Fernandez of Spain celebrates during the victory ceremony for the Men’s Single Free Program on day eight of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 17, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

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Javier Fernandez, who in PyeongChang became the first Spanish Olympic figure skating medalist, will skip the fall Grand Prix series but return for January’s European Championships, which could be his final competition.

Europeans will be Fernandez’s focus for the season, his agent said Tuesday.

Fernandez, 26, added an Olympic bronze medal to his 2015 and 2016 World titles. He has said that his third Olympics in PyeongChang would be his last. But Fernandez did not say he would retire after the Winter Games, though he did skip the world championships in March.

Fernandez now plans to compete in his 13th straight European Championships in Minsk in January. He won the last six titles. It’s unknown if he will continue on to the world championships in Saitama, Japan, in March.

In Fernandez’s absence, the top male singles skaters in the fall Grand Prix season should be double Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, PyeongChang silver medalist Shoma Uno and American Nathan Chen, who was fifth at the Olympics after a disastrous short program but ran away with March’s world title by the largest margin in history.

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