The World Figure Skating Championships lost yet another star with Daisuke Takahashi withdrawing due to a knee injury.
Takahashi, the 2010 world champion, pulled out of the Saitama, Japan, event on Tuesday. He was going to be one of the crowd favorites in his home nation.
“I had dwelled on the thought that I should take part in the home World Championships given that I had been selected,” said Takahashi, 27, according to Agence France-Presse. “But as I need to confine myself to bed rest treatment and then take care of my knee for a long time to come, it was with great regret that I decided to withdraw.”
Takahashi, who finished sixth in Sochi, said he will decide if he will return to competitive skating after he does ice shows in April and May, according to AFP.
The Japanese team without Takahashi is still very formidable, including Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu and Tatsuki Machida and Takahashi’s replacement, Takahiko Kozuka.
Takahashi’s absence means no past men’s world champion will be part of a World Championships field for the first time since 1994.
On Monday, it was announced 2013 world champions Patrick Chan and ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White would miss the World Championships. So, too, would two-time world champion ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.
Olympic silver medalist and reigning world champion Yuna Kim will also miss the World Championships as she is retiring.