Olympic champion Hanyu to return to Grand Prix in Tokyo

Olympic champion Hanyu to return to Grand Prix in Tokyo

Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu will begin his Grand Prix season at the NHK Trophy in Tokyo in November
Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu will begin his Grand Prix season at the NHK Trophy in Tokyo in November

TOKYO - Twice Olympic figure skating champion Yuzuru Hanyu will gear up to defend his title at the Beijing Games when he begins his Grand Prix season in Tokyo in November.

Hanyu skipped last year's Grand Prix season over fears his asthma would put him at higher risk if he became infected with coronavirus.

But he will begin this season's campaign at the NHK Trophy in Tokyo in November before taking part in the Rostelecom Cup in Russia later the same month, the International Skating Union announced Wednesday.

Hanyu returned to action at the end of last year and won the Japanese national title, but finished third at the world championships in Stockholm in March behind winner Nathan Chen.

Chen will begin his Grand Prix season at Skate America in October.

At the World Team Trophy in April -- where he lost to Chen again -- Hanyu played down fears that his asthma could hamper his Olympic title defence.

The 26-year-old said he "didn't feel it" at the team event, just weeks after admitting he felt asthmatic after his free programme at the world championships.

"Honestly, I don't have any problems with my asthma," Hanyu said.

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