Japan came away from the 2015 world championships last week in Shanghai with two of the six singles medals after Yuzuru Hanyu and Satoko Miyahara both claimed silver.

That's the good news.

The bad news began with a move made three months before which has impacted the Hinomaru dearly.

Back in late December, after placing fourth at the Japan nationals in Nagano, Tatsuki Machida announced his sudden retirement. Ice Time came down on him hard at the time, citing both his timing and selfishness in making the decision, and pointed out that Japan could be negatively affected by his action in the near future.

Fast forward three months and that is exactly what has happened.

What am I talking about?

With Hanyu coming in second at the worlds and Takahiko Kozukua only able to muster a 12th-place finish, Japan has now lost one of its three spots for the men at next year's worlds in Boston.

Japan needed to have its top two skaters finish a combined 13th or better at the worlds to retain its three spots. Unfortunately Hanyu and Kozuka's placements added up to 14. So what Ice Time had feared when Machida quit has now been realized.

If Machida, last year's silver medalist at the worlds in Saitama, had skated just three more months, he would almost certainly have combined with Hanyu to lock up the three slots for the next worlds. Instead, he cost Japan something very significant and has further tarnished his legacy.

Because of the Kanagawa native's decision, one Japanese skater will lose out on the experience of competing in the worlds next season. It really is a pity. Competing on the world stage is vital to a skater's development.

What is ironic is that if Hanyu had won, or Kozuka had scored just a half-point more, Japan would have held on to the three places by the narrowest of margins. Hanyu lost to Spain's Javier Fernandez by less than three points, while Kozuka was just 0.35 of a point behind American Joshua Farris for 11th place.

But that is not what happened and now the damage has been done.

I did not think I was being harsh with what I wrote back when Machida quit and I don't feel that way now. He walked out on the team and now a huge price has been paid because of it.

It is interesting to note that some readers felt I was being too tough on Machida, who retired to enter graduate school at Waseda University, while others felt my opinion was the Japan Skating Federation's position.

I said that what Machida had done was "very un-Japanese," which prompted one reader to suggest that because I have been in the country so long, I was now taking the Japanese viewpoint.

That was an interesting take.

A reader who goes by KenjiAd on The Japan Times Online, agreed with me that Machida's grandstand play was uncool.

"There is nothing wrong with him retiring. But I agree with the author that the manner he announced it, on a live national television broadcasting the skating event, was cheesy, unnecessarily dramatic, and disrespectful to other skaters.

"He could have announced it on Facebook (like Derek Jeter did) or even asked the federation to set up some sort of press interviews. That would have bothered no one.

"But he chose the most narcissistic way to announce it. I don't like it."

The fact is, that while I was incensed by the way Machida had shown up his fellow skaters at the nationals, I was more concerned about the three worlds spots being jeopardized.

Time has shown that the worry was well warranted.

Close call: France was rocked by the deaths of three of its Olympians (swimmer Camille Muffat, boxer Alexis Vastine and sailor Florence Arthaud) last month in a tragic collision of two helicopters in Argentina while filming a television reality show there called "Dropped."

Shortly after the accident it emerged that France's two-time Olympic bronze medalist Philippe Candeloro had been on the scene and waiting to take the next helicopter because the first two flights were full. It was only fate that kept the four-time French champion from dying.

Candeloro, who finished third at the 1994 Lillehammer Games and again in Nagano four years later, remains very popular with Japan's skating fans. Many recall his magical performance to "D'Artagnan" at the White Ring on the night Russia's Ilia Kulik won the gold.

Candeloro, who was a two-time world medalist, came to Japan for many years following the Nagano Games to participate in ice shows. He is 43 now, married to ballet dancer Olivia Darmon, and the father of three daughters.

Hard to figure: Lost amid all of the action at the worlds last week was the announcement that next season's Grand Prix Final will be held in Barcelona, Spain, in December.

The decision is a bit of a head-scratcher, as Barcelona hosted the GP Final this season as well. Of course it can be attributed in part to Fernandez's historic victory at the worlds, but I wonder if that is reason enough.

There have been 20 GP Finals since the first one was held in Paris back during the 1995-96 season (when it was called the Champions Series Final), and never before has it been staged in the same place two years in a row.

I don't think this is right. The GP Final is a prestigious event that should be shared and moved to a different city and country each season.