Figure Skating: Injured Olympian Ten withdraws from Four Continents17 february 2016, 16:07
Olympic medallist and defending champion Denis Ten has withdrawn due to injury from the Four Continents figure skating championships in Taipei this week, organisers are quoted by AFP as saying Wednesday.
The skater from Kazakhstan, who took an Olympic bronze at Sochi in 2014 and won his first Four Continents title in Seoul last year, is believed to be suffering from a knee injury.
"Denis Ten has withdrawn from the men's event of the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2016, citing injury," the International Skating Union said in a statement.
Ten was also hampered by injury in October's Skate America, where he finished ninth.
With Ten missing, current ISU Grand Prix Final bronze medallist Shoma Uno of Japan and three-time World champion Patrick Chan of Canada are the favourites for the men's title.
They will face challenges from 2015 Skate America champion Max Aaron of the United States, defending Four Continents bronze medallist Yan Han of China and 2014 Four Continents champion Takahito Mura of Japan.
The women's event is also wide open after defending champion Polina Edmunds of the US withdrew due to injury.
Last year's runner-up Satoko Miyahara of Japan -- a reigning world silver medallist -- will headline the field.
"It's my third time competing at the Four Continents. I have two silver medals so I want the first place. I practise very hard so I want to do my best at this competition," she told AFP.
Miyahara will face fellow Japanese skater Rika Hongo and 2014 Four Continents champion Kanako Murakami, as well as ISU Grand Prix finalist Gracie Gold of the United States.
In the pairs, reigning world and Four Continents champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada are defending their title.
Among the medal contenders are world silver medallists Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China, and American champions Tarah Kayne and Daniel O'Shea.
North Korea is represented for the first time at the Four Continents with pairs skaters Ryom Tae-Ok and Kim Ju-Sik.
In the ice dance event, defending champions Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Canada are eyeing their third title and come in confident after winning the ISU Grand Prix final earlier this season.
Other top competitors include newly crowned American champions Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani, and 2015 world and Four Continents silver medallists Madison Chock and Evan Bates, also from the United States.
More than 90 skaters representing 15 ISU members from around the world are competing at the event, which runs from Thursday to Sunday at Taiwan's Taipei Arena.