Yuzuru Hanyu retires from figure skating: ‘I stopped wanting to be evaluated’

Yuzuru Hanyu

Yuzuru Hanyu, a two-time Olympic champion and arguably the greatest male singles figure skater in history, announced his retirement on Tuesday at age 27.

“I’ll no longer be able to be compared with other competitors,” he said in a Tokyo news conference, according to a Kyodo News translation. “In terms of results, I’ve achieved the things I could achieve. I stopped wanting to be evaluated.”

Hanyu won the 2014 and 2018 Olympic titles, then placed fourth at his third Olympics and, it turns out, his last competition, in February.

After an eighth-place short program took him out of the running for gold, Hanyu attempted the first quadruple Axel in Olympic competition despite reinjuring an ankle between the two programs. He fell, and it was deemed under-rotated.

Back then, 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.

“After the Beijing Olympics when I got home, I couldn’t skate because of the pain in the ankle,” he said Tuesday, according to Olympics.com. “I thought about all kinds of things then, but I felt that I don’t need to be on this stage forever.”

Hanyu reportedly said he plans to continue skating professionally in non-competitive shows.

“I carried on until Beijing in pursuit of the quad Axel, but I feel I can do it, not necessarily in competitions,” he said, according to Kyodo. “I actually feel it gives a chance for more people to witness it [in person].”

Hanyu was a precocious talent who started skating at age 4, winning the world junior title at age 15 in 2010.

The epicenter of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami was 80 miles from his native Sendai. He was training at the time — “I ran out of the building in my skating boots,” he said then. “I had no time to put on the blade covers, so my blades were damaged. I was terrified.” — and reportedly spent three or four days at an evacuation center before returning to his damaged family home.

In 2012, he took bronze at the world championships. In 2014, he ended the reign of Canadian Patrick Chan with gold in a flawed Sochi Olympics men’s free skate.

From there, Hanyu suffered repeated ankle injuries — plus a head-on collision at 2014 Cup of China — and defeats in every season, but he remained the king of the sport through his second gold in PyeongChang. He became the first man to repeat as Olympic singles figure skating champion since American Dick Button in 1948 and 1952.

Nathan Chen ascended in the last Olympic cycle, but always spoke with reverence when asked about Hanyu. Not quite on the scale of the Japanese megastar’s fans who camped out overnight to watch him skate at even low-level events across the world and littered the ice with Winnie-the-Pooh bears after each of his programs.

Chen may have also competed for the last time. He is expected to return to Yale and sit out at least through this season.

The top returning skaters are Japanese men who followed Hanyu — 24-year-old Shoma Uno and 19-year-old Yuma Kagiyama.

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Eliud Kipchoge breaks marathon world record in Berlin

Eliud Kipchoge Berlin Marathon

Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge broke his own world record in winning the Berlin Marathon, clocking 2:01:09 to lower the previous record time of 2:01:39 he set in the German capital in 2018.

Kipchoge, 37 and a two-time Olympic champion, earned his 15th win in 17 career marathons to bolster his claim as the greatest runner in history over 26.2 miles.

His pacing was not ideal. Kipchoge slowed over the second half, running 61:18 for the second half after going out in 59:51 for the first 13.1 miles. He still won by 4:49 over Kenyan Mark Korir.

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa won the women’s race in 2:15:37, the third-fastest time in history. Only Brigid Kosgei (2:14:14 in Chicago in 2019) and Paula Radcliffe (2:15:25 in London in 2003) have gone faster.

American record holder Keira D’Amato, who entered as the top seed, was sixth in 2:21:48.

MORE: Berlin Marathon Results

The last eight instances the men’s marathon world record has been broken, it has come on the pancake-flat roads of Berlin. It began in 2003, when Kenyan Paul Tergat became the first man to break 2:05.

The world record was 2:02:57 — set by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014 — until Kipchoge broke it for the first time four years ago. The following year, Kipchoge became the first person to cover 26.2 miles in under two hours, doing so in a non-record-eligible showcase rather than a race.

Kipchoge’s focus going forward is trying to become the first runner to win three Olympic marathon titles in Paris in 2024. He also wants to win all six annual World Marathon Majors. He’s checked off four of them, only missing Boston (run in April) and New York City (run every November).

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2022 Berlin Marathon Results

2022 Berlin Marathon

2022 Berlin Marathon top-10 results and notable finishers from men’s and women’s elite and wheelchair races. Full searchable results are here. ..

1. Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) — 2:01:09 WORLD RECORD
2. Mark Korir (KEN) — 2:05:58
3. Tadu Abate (ETH) — 2:06:28
4. Andamiak Belihu (ETH) — 2:06:40
5. Abel Kipchumba (ETH) — 2:06:40
6. Limenih Getachew (ETH) — 2:07:07
7. Kenya Sonota (JPN) — 2:07:14
8. Tatsuya Maruyama (JPN) — 2:07:50
9. Kento Kikutani (JPN) — 2:07:56
10. Zablon Chumba (KEN) — 2:08:01
DNF. Guye Adola (ETH)

1. Tigist Assefa (ETH) — 2:15:37
2. Rosemary Wanjiru (KEN) — 2:18:00
3. Tigist Abayechew (ETH) — 2:18:03
4. Workenesh Edesa (ETH) — 2:18:51
5. Meseret Sisay Gola (ETH) — 2:20:58
6. Keira D’Amato (USA) — 2:21:48
7. Rika Kaseda (JPN) — 2:21:55
8. Ayuko Suzuki (JPN) — 2:22:02
9. Sayaka Sato (JPN) — 2:22:13
10. Vibian Chepkirui (KEN) — 2:22:21

Wheelchair Men
1. Marcel Hug (SUI) — 1:24:56
2. Daniel Romanchuk (USA) — 1:28:54
3. David Weir (GBR) — 1:29:02
4. Jetze Plat (NED) — 1:29:06
5. Sho Watanabe (JPN) — 1:32:44
6. Patrick Monahan (IRL) — 1:32:46
7. Jake Lappin (AUS) — 1:32:50
8. Kota Hokinoue (JPN) — 1:33:45
9. Rafael Botello Jimenez (ESP) — 1:36:49
10. Jordie Madera Jimenez (ESP) — 1:36:50

Wheelchair Women
1. Catherine Debrunner (SUI) — 1:36:47
2. Manuela Schar (SUI) — 1:36:50
3. Susannah Scaroni (USA) — 1:36:51
4. Merle Menje (GER) — 1:43:34
5. Aline dos Santos Rocha (BRA) — 1:43:35
6. Madison de Rozario (BRA) — 1:43:35
7. Patricia Eachus (SUI) — 1:44:15
8. Vanessa De Souza (BRA) — 1:48:37
9. Alexandra Helbling (SUI) — 1:51:47
10. Natalie Simanowski (GER) — 2:05:09

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