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Shoma Uno, two-time world champion figure skater, retires

Shoma Uno, a three-time Olympic medalist and two-time world champion, announced his retirement at age 26.

“I have taken the decision to retire,” was posted on Uno’s social media, according to a translation, and reposted by Japan’s figure skating federation. “I discovered skating when I was 5 years old, and I’m very grateful that I was able to continue skating for 21 years and have a wonderful competitive life.”

Uno’s post stated that he will hold a press conference next Tuesday to further discuss the decision.

Uno won the world championship in 2022 and 2023, then placed fourth at his last competition, this past March’s worlds.

He placed in the top four of each of the last nine Olympics or world championships dating to 2017. That run included Olympic silver in 2018 behind countryman Yuzuru Hanyu and Olympic bronze in 2022. He also won an Olympic team event silver in 2022.

At age 5, the Nagoya native Uno chased then-training partner Mao Asada, who is seven years older, around the ice. He mastered the quadruple toe loop by age 16 and became the first skater to land a quad flip in competition at age 18.

Uno ascended to become a top challenger to Hanyu in the late 2010s. He became the world’s top skater after the 2022 Olympics after Hanyu retired and American Nathan Chen stepped away from competition.

The 5-foot-2 Uno, coached by 2006 Olympic silver medalist Stéphane Lambiel of Switzerland since 2019, was noncommittal about his competitive future this past season while performing programs he said “close a chapter” in his skating life.

“Maybe it’s my age, or Nathan and Yuzu’s influence, but I wasn’t able to feel strongly like I wanted to win,” Uno said after March’s worlds won by American Ilia Malinin, according to Kyodo News.

NBC Sports research contributed to this report.