SOCHI, RUSSIA – Miki Ito has withdrawn from Saturday’s second round of qualifying for the women’s moguls at the Sochi Olympics after aggravating a right knee injury, the Japanese Olympic Committee said Friday.
“We had to make a comprehensive decision while considering her intentions,” the JOC said in a statement. The 26-year-old Ito collapsed in the finish area after landing her final aerial in practice before the first qualification round on Thursday and had to be taken from the venue by ambulance.
According to Japan team coach Shigeru Kobayashi, Ito iced the injury in the athletes village but did not go to a hospital. She has decided to have her knee examined once she returns to Japan.
Ito, who first hurt her knee while training in Finland last December, had been one of Japan’s medal candidates, but she will leave the Sochi Games without competing. She won two silver medals at last year’s world championships.
Women’s mogul coach Tatsuo Hayashi said Thursday that Ito would likely not take part in Saturday’s qualifier.
“I think it would be difficult,” Hayashi said. “Taking her future into consideration, it’s not like I can let her ski even if she says she wants to.”
Ito had opted for rehab, skipping surgery on her right knee in order to take part in the Sochi Games.
Teammate Aiko Uemura, who qualified for the final in seventh place on Thursday, said of Ito, “She was really fighting hard. … But I could tell that she was in a lot of pain yesterday.”