Figure skating: Olympic hopeful Kihira withdraws from Skate Canada


Rika Kihira. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) – Two-time Japanese national champion Rika Kihira will miss Skate Canada International at the end of the month as she continues to recover from a right ankle injury, the Japan Skating Federation announced on Tuesday. .

The 19-year-old, who won her second straight national women’s singles title last December, has not fully recovered from the osteochondral injury she suffered in July.

“I will focus on treatment and rehabilitation to prepare for the next meetings,” Kihira said in a statement.

Kihira is set to compete in the NHK Trophy November 12-13 in Tokyo, but she will most likely miss the December 9-11 Grand Prix final in Osaka, contested only by the top six skaters in the series.

The injury setback has delayed Kihira’s candidacy for the selection of the Japanese team for the Beijing Winter Games in February 2022, where she aims to win her first Olympic medal.

After moving to Toronto last month to train under Canadian coach Brian Orser, who also works with Japanese male superstar Yuzuru Hanyu, Kihira’s goal was to kick off her Olympic season at Skate Canada International from 29 to October 31 in Vancouver.

The winner of the 2018-19 Grand Prix final also withdrew from the Olympic test competition held in Beijing last week.


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