Takahashi announces retirement

Source:AFP-Global Times Published: 2014-10-14 23:23:01

Daisuke Takahashi Photo: CFP

Former world champion Daisuke Takahashi said Tuesday he has decided to retire from competitive figure skating, ending a career that brought Japanese male singles skating to world prominence.

Takahashi, 28, dubbed the "prince on ice" by his legion of female followers, made the announcement in a nationally televised news conference.

One of Japan's most admired athletes, Takahashi dazzled judges and fans with his brilliant step and spin sequences.

He appeared in three winter Olympic Games, Turin 2006, Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014.

Takahashi was the first Japanese male figure skater to get an Olympic medal, to become the world champion (in 2010) and to win the International Skating Union Grand Prix ­Final (in 2012).

Relatively short at 1.65 ­meters, Takahashi competed with the likes of retired greats ­Evgeni Plushenko of Russia and Swiss star Stephane Lambiel as well as his compatriot and reigning world champion Yuzuru Hanyu, who became the first Japanese male figure skater to win Olympic gold at Sochi this year.

Takahashi reached the peak of his career after tearing ligaments in his right knee that forced him to miss the 2008-09 season. But his performances began to deteriorate in recent years.

He finished sixth at the ­Sochi Winter Olympic Games, effectively handing over the mantle of the sport to his young rival Hanyu.

After the Sochi Games, Takahashi was diagnosed with chronic joint inflammation in his right knee that required him to rest for weeks.

Posted in: Winter Sport

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