OTTAWA, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- Twice world champion Mao Asada has withdrawn from the figure skating Grand Prix Final in Canada and returned home to take care of her ill mother, said the International Skating Union Thursday.
"The Japan Skating Federation informed the International Skating Union this morning of the withdrawal of Japanese skater Mao Asada," said ISU spokeswoman Selina Vanier.
Asada received the news early Thursday morning that her mother is in a critical condition and then decided to return home accompanied by her coach Mr. (Nobuo) Sato.
"On behalf of the ISU and the skating family we would like to express our deepest concern," said Vanier.
Without the 21-year-old Asada, the women's short program is scheduled for Friday followed by the free program on Saturday. Akiko Suzuki is the other Japanese representative in the women's event.
Americans Mirai Nagasu and Ashley Wagner and Russia's Adelina Sotnikova were listed as the three substitutes.