Two-time world champion Yuzuru Hanyu has called a press conference to make a “major announcement”, according to his management company.
Kyodo News has reported that Hanyu will speak to the media at 5pm in Tokyo, with rumours circulating that the 27-year-old could retire from competitive figure skating following a series of injuries on the ice.
Hanyu is one of the biggest names in figure skating after amassing two Olympic gold medals and four Grand Prix Finals in a stellar career.
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He is also a 2020 Four Continents champion and a six-time national champion, but the end could be nigh for one of Japan’s brightest stars.
Hanyu endured a frustrating time at the Beijing Olympics following an unsuccessful three-peat bid, as he sprained his right ankle and finished fourth.
At the time, he said: “It doesn't matter what field it will be. It could be an ice show or a competition."
Due to his success in the rink, Hanyu has provided plenty of inspiration to those from Sendai in Japan’s north-eastern Tohoku region.
He has inspired the victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami with his victory at the 2014 Sochi Games.
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Hanyu then made a successful defence of his title in Pyeongchang four years later, and his achievements were recognised by the Japanese government after receiving the People’s Honour Award aged 23.
The 27-year-old also narrowly missed out on becoming the first-ever athlete to land the elusive quadruple axel during his free skate in Beijing, as he fell on his attempt at the four-and-a-half rotation jump.
Hanyu did not compete at the World Championships in March after failing to recover from an ankle sprain suffered at the Beijing Games.
“I don’t want it to sound like an excuse, but the day before [competition], I sprained my ankle in my 4A,” he said at the time in quotes published by the South China Morning Post.
“If it were a normal competition, I would’ve withdrawn. The doctors said I should stay off my feet for the next 10 days. The injury is pretty bad.
“I’ve thought a lot about the Olympics during this time, and I realise that I’ve been supported by so many people. It even hurts to walk, but I’m receiving a lot of care and treatment on my ankle.”
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