Yuzuru Hanyu withdraws from Grand Prix Final

AP
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Yuzuru Hanyu will miss the Grand Prix Final for a second straight year with a right ankle injury.

Canadian Keegan Messing replaces Hanyu in the six-skater field for the second-biggest competition of the season next week in Vancouver. The favorites are world champion Nathan Chen and Olympic silver medalist Shoma Uno.

Hanyu’s place in the Final had been in doubt since injuring his right ankle in a hard practice fall Nov. 17, hours before winning Rostelecom Cup, and then hopping on crutches backstage.

Hanyu and coach Brian Orser reportedly said this injury is not as serious as last autumn’s right ankle problem (damaged ligaments) that kept him off the ice for more than a month.

Hanyu has the highest score in the world this season by 16 points over Chen, but they have not gone head-to-head since the PyeongChang Olympics. Chen won last year’s Grand Prix Final in Hanyu’s absence after the Japanese icon won it the previous four years.

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