The news came as a shock in the evening of 28th of November in Japan: according to a personal message of Daisuke Takahashi, published on his blog hosted by Kansai University Ice Skating club’s website, he will miss the Grand Prix Final in Fukuoka, at the beginning of December.
by Florentina Tone
“Hello, everyone. There is something I must tell you today. During my practice, I felt a pain in the right leg. I had it thoroughly examined and was diagnosed with contusion on right knee (bone bruise). I was told that I need 2 weeks of treatment, so I am taking some rest off ice now”, wrote Daisuke on his blog.
He continued, apologizing to all of those who were looking forward to watching him skate in a week, in homeland Japan, at the ISU Grand Prix Final: “There are no skaters who don’t feel anxious about not being able to practice. But I believe it’s up to myself to either keep my spirit up or to drive myself into a corner. I will try to take this positively, face up to the situation, and do what I can with help from my staff. I apologize to all those who support me, the skating community, the sponsors, the media, and everyone who are looking forward to seeing the Grand Prix Final. I am sorry that I cannot show my skating at the GPF. I will concentrate on getting better now and hope to skate in front of everyone soon”.
According to the Japan Skating Federation, quoted by The Associated Press, the defending Grand Prix champion hurt his right leg during practice on Tuesday and will require at least two weeks to recover. First alternate Nobunari Oda will replace Takahashi in the six-man field. Daisuke Takahashi qualified for the GP Final with a fourth-place finish at Skate America and a win at the NHK Trophy, three weeks ago. Last year, in Sochi, Russia, he won the event, with a score of 269.40 points, followed by Yuzuru Hanyu (264.29 points) and Patrick Chan (258.66 points).
A chorus of disappointment followed the news – and on different social media accounts the admirers of the Japanese skater were encouraged to write messages on his blog, in order to show their support: “Please send your messages of support and good wishes to Daisuke. I am sure he will be happy to know we are always supporting him and sending him our good thoughts, and that we are waiting for him to come back strong and healthy. Instructions: Fill in your name, write the message, accept terms, check your message and finally click the box with the Japanese characters to send”.
A Japanese fan wrote on facebook: “This evening, November 28, we received a shocking news about Daisuke. It is very quiet here in Japan and that scares me. All I can do is pray for him”. Others say it’s better to take the neccessary time to heal now than in the proximity of the Japanese Nationals, the event which will decide which are the three skaters qualifying for the Olympics in Sochi, Russia, next year: “Sorry to hear this, but wise of him not to push himself. He needs to heal for the more important events”.
In the absence of Daisuke Takahashi, the following six skaters will participate at the Grand Prix Final, held at the end of next week in Fukuoka: Patrick Chan (Canada), Tatsuki Machida (Japan), Yuzuru Hanyu (Japan), Maxim Kovtun (Russia), Han Yan (China) and Nobunari Oda – first alternate (Japan).