Injured Yuzuru Hanyu to miss Grand Prix Final for second consecutive year

Kyodo

Yuzuru Hanyu will again miss the Grand Prix Final due to a right ankle injury, the Japan Skating Federation announced Thursday.

The two-time defending Olympic champion twisted his right ankle in a practice at the Cup of Russia on Nov. 17, leaving him in doubt for the Dec. 6-8 season finale in Vancouver, British Columbia. The 23-year-old had returned to Japan to undergo medical tests to decide whether he would compete again this year.

In addition to winning back-to-back Olympic golds and world championships, Hanyu won the Grand Prix Final four consecutive times between 2013 and 2016. He was aiming to become the first skater, male or female, to win five titles overall.

A similar injury last year forced Hanyu to miss the 2017 Grand Prix Final when he was sidelined for nearly three months, but according to his coach Brian Orser, the current injury is not as serious.

It is still unclear whether Hanyu will be able to participate in the national championships from Dec. 21-24 in Osaka, which doubles as a qualifier for next year’s world championships in Saitama.