Ex-champion Kostner rules out worlds in Japan

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Former world champion Carolina Kostner, seen in this file photo, has ruled out competing in the world figure skating championships in Japan next month

MILAN — Former world champion Carolina Kostner has ruled out competing in the world figure skating championships in Japan next month, with a slim hope that she will return from injury for the World Team Trophy there in April.

The 32-year-old Italian has not competed this season as she struggles with a left hip problem and a fractured foot she picked up in a domestic accident in December.

"I never thought this season would turn out like this and I have to say breaking my foot disheartened me at the beginning," said five-time European champion Kostner, whose career has spanned 17 years.

"But then I transformed the time into something useful by dedicating myself, apart from the initial rest, to activities off the ice.

"Now I have also taken up dance and I am happy to be able to resume my work on the ice."

Kostner said she was resuming training gradually and hopes to participate in some Galas and a tour of Japan at the end May.

The only remaining hope of seeing her in competition would be at The World Team Trophy in Fukuoka, Japan from April 11-14. The world championships are also in Japan, in Saitama, from March 18-24.

In addition to her gold in 2012, Kostner has won two silver and three bronze at worlds. She also won bronze at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, but finished fifth in Pyeongchang 2018 and slumped to fourth in worlds at home in Milan. — AFP


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