Figure skating: Olympic Champion Yuzuru Hanyu pulls out of Worlds: Japan federation

Figure skating gold medallist Yuzuru Hanyu requires "two weeks of rest and three months of rehabilitation" for damaged ligaments in his right ankle, as well as other injuries.
Figure skating gold medallist Yuzuru Hanyu requires "two weeks of rest and three months of rehabilitation" for damaged ligaments in his right ankle, as well as other injuries.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

TOKYO (AFP) - Figure skating gold medallist Yuzuru Hanyu will not compete in March's World Championships in Italy due to injury, Japan's Skating Federation said on Wednesday (March 7).

Hanyu requires "two weeks of rest and three months of rehabilitation" for damaged ligaments in his right ankle, as well as other injuries, the federation said in a statement.

"As the result of medical diagnosis, I am not able to compete in the World Championships, but I will focus on treatment and rehabilitation so that I can return to full health as soon as possible," Hanyu said in the same statement.

"I will continue to do what I can little-by-little."

The 23-year-old, who originally suffered the injury in November, grabbed gold in Pyeongchang, becoming the first man to capture back-to-back Olympic figure skating gold medals in 66 years.

Hanyu revealed on his return from the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang that he had won gold despite his ankle being at barely one quarter of full fitness.

"To be honest, if I compare the situation of my ankle now from the worst time, the pain has only improved by 20-30 per cent," said Hanyu.

Japan was distraught when Hanyu fell and twisted his ankle attempting the ultra-tough quadruple Lutz jump during practice on the eve of the NHK Trophy in November, threatening his Olympic participation.

The World Championships take place in Milan between March 21 and 25.