Figure skating: Japan's former world champ Asada retires

Japanese figure skater Mao Asada won world titles in 2008, 2010 and 2014 but recent results have disappointed

Japan's former world champion Mao Asada retired from figure skating Monday in a bombshell announcement, citing a lack of motivation after a mystifying slump in form.

The 26-year-old, who won three world titles in 2008, 2010 and 2014, said on her official blog: "This was a big decision for me but I have no regrets over my skating career."

Asada, a silver medallist at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics behind South Korea's Kim Yuna, took a one-year break after the last of her three world championship victories complaining of exhaustion.

But after returning to the ice for the 2015-16 season, Asada's results began to nose-dive, culminating in a humiliating 12th-place finish at the Japan nationals last December.

"Since I came back I haven't been able to produce the performances or results I had hoped for," she said. "I have been troubled by a lot of things.

"The goals that have kept me going disappeared," added Asada, who has struggled this season with a knee problem. "I have lost the willpower to carry on as a professional skater."