Daisuke Takahashi will be the 3rd Japanese male skater--along with Yuzuru Hanyu and Tatsuki Machida--to go to the Winter Olympics, according to Japan TV. After pulling out of the ISU Grand Prix Finals at the start of the month due to a leg injury--I've heard it reported as a stress fracture near his knee--Takahashi finished 5th at Japan Nationals, jeopardizing his hopes of returning to the Winter Olympics. This will be the 2nd time in a row that Takahashi will be rushing a recovery from a major injury to compete in the Olympics. Let's hope he can bounce back quickly!
Here are his skates:
Here's his emotional interview right after he finished 5th:
I was really afraid this was a career-ending injury. I'm relieved that we'll get a chance to say goodbye to him at Sochi.
[Update 1 (11:02 am): The Full Metal Archivist pointed me toward this recent interview with his choreographer Lori Nichol. Helps put his journey and his free skate in perspective.]
[Update 2 (11:38 am): Wow, this Japan Nationals was one for the history books! Akiko Suzuki won the women's gold in her last appearance at nationals with her mom watching her skate for the first time ever. Yuzuru Hanyu broke 100 points on his short program in winning the men's gold. Kanako Murakami skated a fantastic long program and broke 200 to take the silver, qualifying for Sochi at the same time along with Suzuki and Mao Asasa, who skated a great short program and a so-so long.]