Former world champion Brian Joubert withdraws from Cup of China

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Former figure skating world champion Brian Joubert withdrew from Cup of China here on Saturday.

Joubert, 28, stood in seventh place following the men's short program on Friday. With a deficit of 21.52 points behind Japanese world silver medalist Daisuke Takahashi, who's currently ranked first in men's singles, Joubert announced his withdrawal from the Cup of China on Saturday morning, hours before free skating started.

According to the medical bulletin, the French 2007 world champion was suffering from abdominal pain and fever. He started to feel unwell five days ago.

Geng Bingwa, a Chinese women's singles figure skating rising star, also pulled out of the Cup of China before the ladies practice on Saturday morning citing injury.

Placed 10th following the Friday's ladies short program, the 18-year-old sprained her ankle in the tournament. Russian 14-year-old promising starlet Julia Lipnitskaia led the women's singles events ahead of Japanese two-time world champion Mao Asada and American star Mirai Nagasu.

The Cup of China is the third of six events in the 2012/2013 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series. 47 skaters representing 9 ISU members are competing for a global prize money of 180,000 US dollars per individual event of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating and receive points according to their placements. Enditem

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