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Injury-hit figure skating champ Hanyu resumes training

Hanyu injured himself attempting an ultra-difficult quadruple Lutz
Hanyu injured himself attempting an ultra-difficult quadruple Lutz AFP/File
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Tokyo (AFP)

Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu has resumed training on ice two months after damaging his ankle ligaments, officials said Tuesday, as he battles for fitness just 24 days before the games begin in South Korea.

Hanyu -- the first Japanese man to win Olympic figure skating gold -- started the season as favourite to become the first man since American Dick Button in 1952 to win back-to-back titles.

However, the 23-year-old has been off the ice for nearly two months nursing damaged right ankle ligaments.

Hanyu fell and twisted his ankle attempting the ultra-tough quadruple Lutz during practice on the eve of the NHK Trophy in November, the fourth leg in the six-event ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series.

But he began training on ice about a week ago in Toronto, where he is preparing for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, according to an official of the Japan Skating Federation.

"He's someone who has a high level of concentration. I hope he'll get into shape," federation director Yoshiko Kobayashi told reporters.

Hanyu said last month he was disappointed with the pace of his recovery, which had prevented him from resuming training.

The injury forced him to miss the national championships, which served as the final trial to decide which skaters go to the Olympics.

However, Japan's skating authority is all but certain to send their champion to Pyeongchang anyway because of his past achievements, according to local media.

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