There will be a new No. 2 at the Canadian figure skating championships next week.
Skate Canada announced yesterday that Cynthia Phaneuf, the reigning senior women's silver medallist, has withdrawn from the 2006 nationals, which begin Monday at the Civic Centre.
The 17-year-old from Contrecoeur, Que., is suffering from an injury to her landing (right) knee that has prevented her from attempting jumps in practice. Earlier this season, Phaneuf was forced out of MasterCard Skate Canada International because of a minor stress fracture in her ankle. She did not compete this season.
NO SHOT AT OLYMPICS
Phaneuf's withdrawal also eliminates her from consideration for Canada's Olympic team headed to Turin next month. That team will be named following next week's competition.
She plans a return to full competition in the fall.
"I'm very disappointed," Phaneuf said in a statement. "But I want to be back next year and I want to be ready for the ISU Grand Prix circuit."
Two years ago in Edmonton, Phaneuf shocked the skating world with one of the biggest upset victories in Canadian championship history. She won the senior women's title as a 15-year-old, dethroning six-time national champ Jennifer Robinson of Windsor in the process.
She was 20th at last year's world championships in Moscow.
Defending champ Joannie Rochette of Ile-Dupas, Que., will be heavily favoured to retain her national crown next week at the Civic Centre. Last year's bronze medallist, Mira Leung of Vancouver, is the top contender to land Canada's second Olympic team berth.
Women's qualifying opens the competition Monday at 1 p.m.