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‘Not even at the starting line': Yuzuru Hanyu to miss another figure skating competition

Yuzuru Hanyu

OSAKA, JAPAN - APRIL 15: Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan looks on prior to the Men’s Single Short Program on day one of ISU World Team Trophy at Maruzen Intec Arena Osaka on April 15, 2021 in Osaka, Japan. (Photo by Koki Nagahama/International Skating Union via Getty Images)

International Skating Union via

Two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu has now withdrawn from both of his Grand Prix figure skating events due to a right ankle ligament injury, this time pulling out of next week’s Rostelecom Cup in Russia.

“I’m not even at the starting line yet, but will steadily move forward,” Hanyu said in a statement, according to a Kyodo News translation. “It hurts when I move it certain ways. But I’m at the point where it doesn’t hurt just doing routine daily things.”

Hanyu, 26, announced Nov. 4 that he would miss his season-opening event, the NHK Trophy in Japan, revealing that for the third time in five seasons, he was sidelined due to his right ankle after a fall.

In 2018, he came back from missing two months of competition to repeat as Olympic gold medalist in his first event in nearly four months.

Hanyu’s absence from the Grand Prix, the sport’s top-level autumn series, means he will most likely not face American Nathan Chen until the Olympics. Chen has won all of their head-to-head competitions since the PyeongChang Winter Games.

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