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Family emergency keeps Asada out of Final

Petite powerhouse will not compete in Quebec

A family emergency will keep Mao Asada from competing at the Grand Prix Final.
A family emergency will keep Mao Asada from competing at the Grand Prix Final. (AFP)

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By Lynn Rutherford, special to icenetwork.com
(12/08/2011) - Quebec City -- International Skating Union President Ottavio Cinquanta's began his morning press conference with the announcement that Mao Asada had withdrawn from the Grand Prix Final.

The two-time world champion and her coach, Nobuo Sato, have returned to Japan, where Asada's mother has fallen critically ill. The Japanese Skating Federation has requested that the media make no further inquiries at this time.

"There will be only five finalists in the ladies' event, because [Asada's] decision is taken just now," Cinquanta said. "It is not possible to involve a substitute."

A member of the Japanese Skating Federation said that although the skater's mother had been ill prior to Asada's departure from Japan, the situation has since grown worse, prompting Asada's withdrawal.