Hanyu to skip figure skating world championships

FILE - In this Feb. 17, 2018, file photo, Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan performs during the men's free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea. Two-time Olympic figure skating gold medalist Hanyu will miss the March 21-25, 2018 world championships in Milan, Italy, because of pain in his right ankle. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

David J. Phillip

TOKYO (AP) — Two-time Olympic figure skating gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu will miss this month's world championships because of pain in his right ankle.

Hanyu, who became the first back-to-back Olympic men's figure skating champion in 66 years at last month's Pyeongchang Games, damaged ligaments in his ankle after falling in practice at the NHK trophy in November.

The 23-year-old Japanese skater recovered to successfully defend the title he won at the 2014 Sochi Games.

"I am unable to participate in the world championships, but will dedicate myself to treatment and rehabilitation so that I can return soon," Hanyu said in a statement released by the Japan Skating Federation.

The world championships will take place in Milan, Italy, from March 21-25.

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