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China's pair skating Olympic champion Han Cong announced that he will skip all competitions of the current Olympic cycle because of injury.
It means the 31-year-old Han and his 28-year-old partner Sui Wenjing will not be able to defend their Olympic title at the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games, reports Xinhua.
"I am sorry to announce that I have decided to withdraw from all competitions in the Milan cycle. One and a half years after the Beijing Winter Olympics, I am still not fit to be back to the rink," Han said on social media.
"I will keep working on figure skating, but in another way instead of being an athlete, and I wish all the best for Sui, who will be sure to pursue her own dream. We will still be the most solid partners for each other!" he added.
Sui immediately reposted Han's microblog and wrote: "I hope Cong can recover soon. Although it's regrettable, I totally understand and support Cong's decision."
"Yes, we will always be each other's cheerleaders and the heart-warming one. And we'll always be on the road of figure skating together!" Sui added.
Sui and Han, also two-time world champions and runners-up at PyeongChang 2018, have not competed since their epic victory at Beijing 2022, prompting speculation that they may announce their retirement.
Han was appointed as the skater member of the Single & Pair Skating Technical Committee by the ISU last September, and Sui is engaged in choreography after her studying at Beijing Dance Academy.
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