Figure Skating: Chan won't defend world title in Japan

WINNIPEG, Canada - Reigning men's world champion Patrick Chan, who settled for silver at the Sochi Olympics, said Monday he will not seek a fourth consecutive title at this month's World Figure Skating Championships.

The Canadian, the latest big name to pull out of the March 24-30 showpiece at Saitama, Japan said he would still like to win a fourth world crown one day, but did not want to return to training so soon after the Olympics.

Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu won Olympic gold last month with Chan second in a matchup that saw both men fall short of their own performance expectations on the sport's biggest stage.

"I assessed after the Games how I felt. I was being realistic and asked myself if I could see going right (back) into training, and I didn't see that as a possibility," Chan, 23, said.

"I know that I don't skate well when I'm not fully involved and fully attentive and wanting to be there. So I knew it would be smart to let this one go and look at the ones in the future.

"Honestly in my heart, I know I want to win another world championship."

Chan, who will tour Canada with the Stars on Ice show this spring, added: "I still feel like I want to accomplish more, whether it's in skating or whether it's outside of skating.

"For the immediate moment, I know I don't want to be involved in the competitive side but in the future - 2016, 2017, 2018, or even 2015 world championships - I may tackle those challenges and those goals."

Sochi ice dance runners-up Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, the 2010 Vancouver Olympic champions, also said Monday they will not compete in Japan.

Their fierce rivals Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States have also pulled out.

"We were so pleased with our (Olympic) performances - both short and free dance - and just thrilled with the experience we had at the Olympics," Virtue said.

"It just seemed like the right way to end the season and a nice way to say goodbye to those two programs in particular."

Whether the duo will compete next season remains to be seen. Moir said they needed more time to decide future plans but hope "to find some clarity" while on tour.

"We want to gauge what fire we have to come back and compete or not, and evaluate our situation," Virtue said.

"We owe it to ourselves to give it some time."