The World Figure Skating Championships will be without Canada’s biggest stars.
Three-time world champion Patrick Chan and two-time world ice dance champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir were not on the Canadian roster for the Saitama, Japan, event announced Monday.
The World Championships begin March 24.
Chan, the Olympic silver medalist, won silver at the 2009 and 2010 World Championships and gold at the 2011, 2012 and 2013 World Championships. By skipping Saitama, he forgoes the chance to become the first man since Alexei Yagudin to win medals at six straight worlds (1997-2002) and the first since Scott Hamilton to win four straight golds (1981-84).
Chan’s absence makes Japanese Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu the overwhelming favorite to win the world title in Saitama. Hanyu said a few hours after returning to Japan from Sochi that he was anticipating practicing for the World Championships.
Like Chan, Virtue and Moir won Olympic silver in Sochi. They had also won medals at the last six World Championships, splitting the last four golds with American Olympic champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White.
The last ice dance couple to win medals at seven straight worlds was the Soviet duo of Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko (eight from 1985-1992).
Virtue and Moir are reportedly expected to retire. Davis and White have yet to commit to the World Championships.