Two-time Olympic gold medallist Yuzuru Hanyu has retired from competition ©Getty Images

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Yuzuru Hanyu has announced his retirement from competitive figure skating, ending a glittering career which also included two world titles.

The 27-year-old won bac-to-back men's singles titles at the Sochi 2014 and Pyeonchang 2018 Winter Olympics, but has since struggled with persistent injuries. 

An ankle complaint ruled Hanyu out of this year's World Championships, while a separate ankle injury prevented him from competing in any of last season's Grand Prix of Figure Skating legs.

Coronavirus concerns also led to Hanyu missing the 2020 season.

Hanyu - four times a winner of the series  - was able to make a triumphant comeback at the Japan Figure Skating Championships last December, winning a national title and a place at Beijing 2022.

The disrupted build-up caught up to Hanyu at the Winter Olympics last year as he bailed out of the first jump in short programme routine, sitting eighth at the halfway stage.

Despite an impressive free skate, Hanyu finished the men's singles in fourth, behind compatriots Yuma Kagiyama and Shoma Uno as well as the American winner Nathan Chen.

Per Japanese new agency Kyodo, Hanyu plans to continue skating at exhibition events.

Yuzuru Hanyu won two Olympic gold medals and two world titles ©Getty Images
Yuzuru Hanyu won two Olympic gold medals and two world titles ©Getty Images

At Pyeongchang 2018, Hanyu had become the first athlete to retain the Olympic men's singles title in 66 years.

Hanyu held total score, free skate and short programme world records at various points in his career and retires second on the all-time list in each category, behind only Chen.

The Japanese icon's world titles were won on the home ice of Saitama in 2014 and Finnish capital Helsinki in 2017.

Hanyu won five more medals at World Championships, including a silver in Saitama in 2019 following an epic duel with Chen.

A former junior world champion, other career highlights included the 2020 Four Continents title - won in South Korean capital Seoul in 2017 - and helping Japan to a home World Team Trophy win in Tokyo in 2017.

Hanyu was the first man to complete a "super slam" of figure skating's major prizes.