Olympic figure skating favorite Yevgenia Medvedeva will miss next week’s Grand Prix Final with a leg injury, according to the Russian Figure Skating Federation.
Medvedeva, undefeated for two years, will be replaced in the six-skater field by Japanese Satoko Miyahara, the first alternate.
Medvedeva revealed last week that her right leg was in a cast after an MRI showed bone cracks in her right foot.
Medvedeva said then that she planned to compete in the Grand Prix Final unless a doctor ruled her out.
One of Medvedeva’s choreographers said Friday that the skater would have competed if the Olympics were happening now, but she deserves a spot on the three-woman Russian Olympic team for February even if her injury keeps her out of the Russian Championships later this month, according to Russian news agency TASS.
Medvedeva, 18, is on the best run in women’s skating since Katarina Witt dominated in the 1980s.
She won her two Grand Prix events this season despite rare falls in both free skates.
Medvedeva said she first felt right leg pain before her opening Grand Prix in Moscow in October, undergoing an MRI that determined a cracked bone.
She skated anyway and won by a comfortable 15 points.
She still felt pain before her second Grand Prix in Japan three weeks ago. After winning by 12 points, she underwent another MRI in Japan and flew home to Moscow and was put in a cast.
The Grand Prix Final is the biggest event between now and the Olympics and the second biggest annual event after the world championships. It’s the most exclusive competition, taking the top six per discipline from the fall Grand Prix series.
With Medvedeva out, the favorites are world junior champion Alina Zagitova of Russia, world silver medalist Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada and Olympic bronze medalist Carolina Kostner of Italy.
They’re joined in the field by Russian Maria Sotskova and Wakaba Higuchi and Miyahara of Japan.
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