Figure skating-Japan’s Hanyu injures ankle three months before Olympics

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World Figure Skating Championships

– Yuzuru Hanyu’s hopes of winning a third Olympic figure skating gold medal for Japan have suffered a blow after he pulled out of a tournament in Tokyo due to an ankle injury.

With the Beijing Winter Games three months away, the country’s skating federation said the 26-year-old had suffered ankle ligament damage and would miss the Nov. 12-14 NHK Cup.

The 2022 Winter Olympics begin on Feb. 4.

“I feel very disappointed that I was injured in just one fall,” Hanyu said in a statement.

“I will do my best to shorten the time to return to the competition as much as possible through rehabilitation on the ice while controlling pain.”

Hanyu, who won gold in the men’s singles at Sochi 2014, also injured his ankle in the buildup to the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, an injury which kept him off the ice for two months.

However, he returned to fitness in time to become the first man in 66 years to win back-to-back figure skating titles.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Yuka Obayashi in Tokyo; Editing by Peter Rutherford)