Yuzuru Hanyu to miss world figure skating championships

Figure Skating - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Day 6
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Yuzuru Hanyu withdrew from the world figure skating championships in three weeks in France, citing a right ankle sprain from the Olympics.

Hanyu, the 2014 and 2018 Olympic gold medalist, said last month that he suffered the injury doing a quadruple Axel on Feb. 9.

“If it were a normal competition, I would have withdrawn,” Hanyu said after finishing in fourth place overall, after getting a pain-killing injection minutes before warming up for his free skate.

The 27-year-old Hanyu’s future is unclear. After the Olympic competition, he said, “I would love to skate at the Olympic Games once again,” but that he didn’t know if Beijing would ultimately be his last Games.

If Hanyu makes it to 2026, he will join a list of five men to compete in four Olympic singles events, according to Olympedia.org.

Hanyu also missed last fall’s Grand Prix Series due to a right ankle injury. That ankle has sidelined him three of the last five seasons.

New Olympic champion Nathan Chen is still entered in the world championships, along with silver and bronze medalists Yuma Kagiyama and Shoma Uno of Japan.

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Lucas Braathen, world’s top male slalom skier, in doubt for world championships

Lucas Braathen
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Norway’s Lucas Braathen, the world’s top male slalom skier this season, is doubtful to compete in the world championships slalom on Feb. 19 after appendix surgery on Tuesday.

“It’s been a tough couple of days fighting after surprisingly finding out about quite an intense infection on my appendix,” Braathen, a 22-year-old soccer convert with a Brazilian mom, posted on social media. “I’ve been through surgery and I’m blessed that it went successfully.”

The Norway Alpine skiing team doctor said Braathen’s recovery will take a few weeks, but there is a small possibility he can make it back for the world championships slalom, which is on the final day of the two-week competition.

Braathen has two slalom wins and one giant slalom win this World Cup season. He will miss Saturday’s slalom in Chamonix, France, the last race before worlds. Countryman Henrik Kristoffersen and Swiss Daniel Yule can overtake him atop the World Cup slalom standings in Chamonix.

Braathen entered last year’s Olympics as the World Cup slalom leader and skied out in the first run at the Games.

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Sifan Hassan sets marathon debut

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Sifan Hassan, who won 5000m and 10,000m gold and 1500m bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in an unprecedented triple, will make her 26.2-mile debut at the London Marathon on April 23.

Hassan, a 30-year-old Dutchwoman, said she will return to the track after the race, but how the London Marathon goes will play into whether she bids for the Olympic marathon in 2024.

“I want to see what I can do on the marathon distance, to make future decisions,” she posted on social media. “We’ll see if I will finish the distance or if the distance will finish me.”

Exhausted by her Olympic feat, Hassan reportedly went at least seven months after the Tokyo Games between training in track spikes. She finished fourth in the 10,000m and sixth in the 5000m at last July’s world championships in Eugene, Oregon.

“I really needed a break after the Tokyo Olympics,” Hassan said at worlds. “I was mentally crashed. I didn’t even care about running.”

London, billed as the best women’s marathon field in history, also boasts Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya, 2016 Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, 1500m world record holder Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia and the two fastest Americans in history, Emily Sisson and Keira D’Amato.

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