Shoma Uno's figure skating world title defense in doubt after fall | Inquirer Sports

Shoma Uno’s figure skating world title defense in doubt after fall

/ 09:36 PM March 22, 2023

Japan’s Shoma Uno takes part in a practice session during the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2023 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama on March 21, 2023. (Photo by Yuichi YAMAZAKI / AFP)

Japan’s Shoma Uno takes part in a practice session during the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2023 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama on March 21, 2023. (Photo by Yuichi YAMAZAKI / AFP)

Japan’s Shoma Uno was left sweating on the defense of his men’s figure skating world title Wednesday when he fell and injured his ankle in practice on the eve of the competition.

A Japanese team official said Uno would be re-evaluated on Thursday morning — just hours before he is due to perform his short program in Saitama, north of Tokyo.

The 25-year-old fell in practice and cut short the session as doctors looked at his right ankle.

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He was not taken to hospital but a Japanese team official said Uno was already struggling with an ankle issue.

“He says himself that he thinks he’s going to be alright but we will look at it again tomorrow,” said Japan Skating Federation official Yosuke Takeuchi.

Uno has had a troubled build-up to the competition, telling reporters on Tuesday that he had “doubts” about his ability to defend his title.

“I feel like it’s not going to get better unless something big changes,” Uno said.

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“I don’t know what kind of result I can aim for in my present state,” he added.

If Uno is fit to skate, he faces competition for the title from American teen and self-proclaimed “QuadGod” Ilia Malinin, France’s European champion Adam Siao Him Fa and Canada’s Keegan Messing.

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The men’s short program is on Thursday and the free skate is on Saturday.

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