Olympic champ Hanyu skips first practice at figure skating worlds

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Hanyu is no doubt the hot favorite in Saitama, but his form is in doubt as he sat out the Grand Prix Final, Japanese nationals and Four Continents this season due to his right ankle injury.

Hanyu's teammates, Keiji Tanaka and Olympic silver medallist Shoma Uno, also skipped the first practice.

According to the official time sheet, Hanyu was scheduled to practice first in group 2 at 8:05 in the morning but the star skater did not show up. A lot of fans, some from abroad, waited for Hanyu from very early on Monday. His second practice time is 18:200 this afternoon.

SAITAMA, Japan, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Two-time Winter Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu didn't show in the official first practice at the 2019 ISU Figure Skating World Championships in Saitama, Japan, on Monday.

He had won the world championships twice in 2014 and 2017, while American Nathan Chen won the last edition without Hanyu.

Chen, the defending champion, finished his practice this morning. He arrived at Japan on Sunday.

The tournament runs from March 18 to 24. The men's short program starts on Thursday.