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Anna Pogorilaya to miss Olympics

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Russian figure skater Anna Pogorilaya, who at this time last year was an Olympic medal favorite, said she will miss the rest of the season including the Pyeongchang Winter Games with a back injury, according to Russian media.

Pogorilaya, 19, was the world’s second-best skater in last fall’s Grand Prix series but dropped off and then plummeted to 13th at the world championships in March. She fell three times in a disastrous free skate.

This season, Pogorilaya was ninth in her only international event and withdrew before her last scheduled start with the injury.

She was unlikely to make the Olympic team for Russia, which should include two-time world champion Yevgenia Medvedeva, world junior champion Alina Zagitova and Maria Sotskova.

Medvedeva, who missed last week’s Grand Prix Final with a broken foot, plans to compete in next week’s Russian Championships, according to R-Sport, quoting a Russian figure skating federation official. She could miss nationals and still go to the Olympics.

Pogorilaya was the 2016 World bronze medalist, sharing the podium in Boston with Medvedeva and American Ashley Wagner.

Pogorilaya also made the exclusive six-skater Grand Prix Final three times in four years, including in the 2013-14 Olympic season.

But she was eighth at Russian nationals that season and bypassed for the two-woman Olympic team. She was named to the March 2014 World Championships team and was fourth.

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Yuzuru Hanyu uncertain for Japanese Nationals

Yuzuru Hanyu
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Yuzuru Hanyu, the reigning Olympic and world figure skating champion, has been off the ice for more than one month with right ankle and knee injuries suffered in a practice fall, according to Japanese media citing the Japan Skating Federation.

The Japanese Championships are next week. Hanyu can (and very likely will) be named to the three-man Olympic team even if he misses nationals.

“It is an important selection competition, and the Olympics are a big goal, so with that in mind we would like to think things through together,” Japan Skating Federation director Yoshiko Kobayashi said Sunday, according to Kyodo News.

Hanyu, who turned 23 last Thursday, fell while attempting a quadruple Lutz and favored his right ankle in a Nov. 9 practice at a Grand Prix event (video here).

He skated during the run-through for his free skate, although he elected not to do any more jumps.

“I have been told by the doctor that I need 10 days of complete rest,” Hanyu said in a statement on Nov. 12, according to Kyodo. “Following that, it will take three to four weeks to return and get back to where I was.”

Hanyu and world silver medalist Shoma Uno are favored to lead Japan’s Olympic men’s figure skating team. The third spot is likely to go to Takahito Mura or Keiji Tanaka.

Hanyu competed twice this season.

He posted a world-record short program score in his debut at a small September event in Canada, but struggled to fifth place in the free skate and finished second overall behind two-time world champion Javier Fernandez of Spain.

He then finished second to U.S. champion Nathan Chen at the first Grand Prix event of the season in Moscow in October. Chen is the only undefeated skater this season.

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Mao Asada, Nick Symmonds finish Honolulu Marathon

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Olympic figure skating silver medalist Mao Asada ran the Honolulu Marathon in 4 hours, 34 minutes, 13 seconds, on Sunday.

Nick Symmonds, a two-time U.S. Olympic 800m runner, ran 3:00:35.

Asada, a three-time world champion from Japan who retired in April, just missed her reported goal of breaking 4:30 but beat another reported goal.

She easily went faster than older sister Mai’s reported time from the Nagoya Marathon in 2013, about five hours.

The Honolulu Marathon was sponsored by Japan Airlines, which has put Asada’s image on the side of a plane.

Symmonds wanted to break three hours but said he was done in by a hill at mile 24, where he split more than 8 minutes.

“I want to break three so I never have to run another one,” Symmonds said, adding that he averaged 25 miles a week in training (that’s on the low side for suggested marathon training). “I’ve run almost every day of my life for 20 years, so that helps. … It was really fun for 20 miles, and then I tried to stay mentally tough for six. … I’m going to set a goal to run a spring marathon, find a nice, flat course and really get after it.”

Symmonds, the 2013 World 800m silver medalist who retired earlier this year, has said he wants to climb the tallest mountain on every continent.

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ゼッケン受け取りました❗️ いよいよ明日が本番です‼️

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