Yuzuru Hanyu will miss the upcoming national championships in Osaka due to a right ankle injury, the Japan Skating Federation announced Thursday.
It will be Hanyu’s third consecutive year missing nationals after pulling out last year with a similar injury and withdrawing in 2017 with the flu.
“I was doing everything I could to make the national championships, so I’m very disappointed that I cannot participate,” the two-time defeinding Olympic champion said in a statement through the federation.
“I will make an effort to return to competition as soon as the pain and limitations are gone.”
While the Dec. 21-24 nationals double as a qualifier for next year’s world championships in Saitama, there is a high likelihood the JSF will grant Hanyu qualification on other criteria.