On Monday, it was revealed that reigning two-time Japanese national champion Rika Kihira has withdrawn from the 2022 Japanese Championships – this is due to a right ankle injury.
The 19-year-old figure skater was diagnosed with an osteochondral injury in the right ankle last July and has missed all competitions this season, including both assignments of the International Skating Union (ISU) Grand Prix series.
Since September, she has trained in Canada under Brian Orser and intended to participate at the national championships until the very end but was forced to withdraw.
Kihira is a two-time Four Continents champion and the winner of the 2018-2019 ISU Grand Prix Final. Last season, she was second after short program at the World Championships but had a rough outing in the free skate and finished seventh.