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Hanyu drops out of NHK after hard fall

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Yuzuru Hanyu scrambles to get up after taking a bad fall during a practice session on Wednesday in Osaka.

Reuters TOKYO (Reuters) — Olympic figure skating champion Yuzuru Hanyu has dropped out of an ISU Grand Prix event in Osaka due to injury, officials said on Friday, though there was no word on whether the issue was serious enough to affect his chances at February’s Winter Games.

Hanyu, who hopes to become the first man in 66 years to win back-to-back Olympic golds at next year’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, fell to the ice while attempting a quadruple lutz in practice for the NHK Trophy on Thursday.

Video of the fall showed him favoring his right leg as he got up and he did not take part in practice on Friday.

The Japan Skating Federation, which announced Hanyu’s withdrawal, said he had injured a ligament in his right leg and would now concentrate on treatment. They gave no further details about the injury but said he would not qualify for the final.

“I am sorry that so many people worried on my behalf,” Hanyu said in a statement.

“Since last night the doctors did everything they could so that I could compete, but eventually they decided that I cannot.”

Hanyu’s jump coach, Ghislain Briand, said they would draw up a treatment plan with the aim of having Hanyu ready for the Japan championships in late December.

Hanyu, who will be 23 next month, landed the jump successfully in his first Grand Prix event of the season, the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow last month, but finished second overall behind Nathan Chen of the United States.

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