LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – Japanese freestyle skier Aiko Uemura temporarily pulled out of the World Cup circuit Saturday to receive examinations and treatment on an injured left knee, Japanese skiing officials said.
Olympic medal hopeful Uemura left Lake Placid for Japan after sustaining the injury on Jan. 13 during a practice run for the final of a World Cup event in Deer Valley, Utah. She appeared in the final and finished 10th but the continued pain forced her to withdraw from Saturday’s race in Lake Placid.
Ski Association of Japan head coach Yasushi Takano said Uemura is expected to rejoin the other Japanese moguls representatives for the upcoming Turin Olympics at a training camp beginning in Tignes, France, at the end of this month but will miss all the World Cup events scheduled in the runup to the Olympics.
“The pain is not so severe, but she is returning to Japan to receive detailed tests to clarify what is actually the cause of the pain. She needs to be better prepared physically and mentally for the Olympics,” Takano said.
Earlier this winter, Uemura suffered a bruise on the right side of her lower back in pre-race practice at the season-opening World Cup competition and missed the first two events.
The 26-year-old has been limited to only two World Cup appearances out of the five women’s moguls events held thus far this season and finished 15th and 10th.
Uemura won a ticket to her third Olympic appearance after winning the dual moguls bronze at the world championships last March, a month after taking the latest of her two career titles on the World Cup circuit. At the Olympic Games, she finished seventh in Nagano in 1998 and sixth in Salt Lake City four years later.