Nagasu withdraws from 2009 World Juniors
2008 U.S. champion to be replaced by Katrina Hacker
|2008 U.S. national champion Mirai Nagasu, will sit out junior worlds due to a lingering ankle injury. (Michelle Harvath)|
(02/12/2009) - Mirai Nagasu, the 2008 U.S. ladies champion, announced today her withdrawal from the 2009 World Junior Figure Skating Championships, taking place Feb. 23 - March 1 in Sofia, Bulgaria. Nagasu will be replaced by Katrina Hacker, who finished sixth at the 2009 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Nagasu suffered an injury to her right ankle earlier in the season and has yet to fully recover. "After U.S. Championships, I met with my doctor and was advised to take some time off to heal," Nagasu said. "It was a very hard decision to make, but my doctor and I agreed that it was in my best interest." Last season Nagasu, at 14 years and nine months, became the youngest U.S. ladies champion since Tara Lipinski and the second-youngest U.S. ladies champion ever. She is the first lady since Joan Tozzer (1937-38) to win the U.S. junior and senior titles in consecutive years. "I haven't been on the ice since U.S. Championships," Nagasu said. "It's not bad, but I'm not going to step back on the ice until we're confident that my pain is gone." Earlier this season, Nagasu finished fifth at Skate America and eighth at the NHK Trophy. Hacker's senior international debut came at the 2008 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, where she placed sixth. This season, she finished eighth at the Cup of China and sixth at both the NHK Trophy and the U.S. Championships. "I am very excited and honored to have the opportunity to compete at junior worlds," Hacker said. "I wish Mirai a speedy recovery, and I hope to represent the United States as well as she would have." The 2009 World Junior Championships will take place at the Winter Sport Hall and will begin Tuesday, Feb. 24, with the compulsory dance and the pairs short program.