Ice Skating

Japan's Asada withdraws from Grand Prix final

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Two-time world champion Mao Asada of Japan has pulled out of the figure skating Grand Prix final after her mother became ill.

A statement from the Japan Skating Federation on Friday said Asada was in Quebec City preparing for the event when she decided to return home after learning that her mother's condition had worsened.

There were no details about the mother's illness.

The women's short program is scheduled for Friday followed by the free program Saturday.

Asada was set to compete in her first ISU Grand Prix final since 2008. The 21-year-old failed to win a single event in the worst season of her competitive career in 2010-2011, but qualified for this year's final by finishing second at the NHK Trophy and winning the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow last month.

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