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Japan’s Olympic skate champion Hanyu expected to retire

TOKYO (AP) — Two-time Olympic gold-medal figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu is expected to step away from competitive figure skating.

He was expected to confirm his plans late on Tuesday at a news conference in Tokyo. His management company announced the event but did not confirm more details.

Japan’s Kyodo news agency cited unnamed sources “close to the matter” in reporting Hanyu’s decision.

He won back-to-back gold medals in 2014 in Sochi and in 2018 in Pyeongchang. But he finished fourth in the Beijing Winter Games five months ago and has been noncommittal since about his future.

The 27-year-old Japanese star is also a two-time world champion, but he failed in Beijing to become the first to land a quad Axel in competition.

Hanyu has little left to prove. He has been the world’s most watched skater for almost a decade and the sport’s standard for excellence. He was the first Asian man to win gold in Olympic figure skating.

His road to Beijing was fraught with injury. Hanyu acknowledged having a difficult time finding the same motivation for Beijing that carried him to his two Olympic gold medals.

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