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Figure skating: Hanyu set to return from injury at national c’ships

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mainichi– Yuzuru Hanyu, Japan’s two-time Olympic gold medalist, is set to return from an injury layoff at this week’s national championships, a qualifying event for the Beijing Winter Games, multiple sources close to the matter said Monday.

The 27-year-old will be making his first appearance of the Olympic season in Saitama near Tokyo after injuring a ligament in his right ankle ahead of the NHK Trophy in mid-November, the fourth event of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating.

Hanyu has not traveled to his training base in Canada amid the COVID-19 pandemic and has instead been training in Japan.

While he has not announced he is aiming for the Beijing Games, his unrivaled record is likely to see him taking up one of the three Japanese men’s Olympic berths.

Hanyu missed the nationals ahead of the 2018 Pyeongchang Games with right ankle pain but still secured his place in the games en route to winning his second gold medal.