Machida retires from skating

The 24-year old, made the announcement after finishing fourth in the national figure skating championship over the weekend in Nagano, Japan. 

The Japan Skating Federation had selected him as part of the team to complete at the upcoming world championships. His place has now been taken by Takahito Mura. 

"I can proudly put a period on my career without any regrets," Machida told fans. 

"I am clearing the path to my second career and I sincerely thank you," he added.

The skater plans to study sports management at Tokyo's Waseda University. 

Machida won the men's silver medal at the world championships in March in Saitama, north of Tokyo and finished fifth at the Sochi Olympic Games.