OSAKA, Japan (AP) — Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu fell during Thursday’s practice for the NHK Trophy, a potential setback in his preparations for the PyeongChang Olympics.
Hanyu fell while attempting a quadruple Lutz and favored his right ankle (video here) but did not leave practice. He skated during the run-through for his free skate, although he elected not to do any more jumps.
Hanyu, a two-time world champion, last month placed second at the Rostelecom Cup in Russia, where he skated well but wasn’t his dominant self.
The 22-year-old Hanyu didn’t attend an evening news conference ahead of Friday’s short program. The Japan Skating Federation said it wasn’t sure if Hanyu would be able to compete in the NHK Trophy.
If Hanyu were to pull out, he would not be able to qualify for next month’s Grand Prix Final in Nagoya, Japan.
Patrick Chan, the Olympic silver medalist, was scheduled to compete at the NHK but withdrew to focus on the Canadian Championships and the PyeongChang Winter Games. Another absentee will be Japanese Daisuke Murakami, who has withdrawn because of pneumonia and will be replaced by 2016 junior national champion Kazuki Tomono.
The other top men in the NHK field are past U.S. champions Jason Brown and Adam Rippon.
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