Asada, who took a silver medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics,
had been tipped as a top contender for gold in Sochi this year but
had a disastrous short program, although she rebounded with a strong
free skate that left her in sixth place overall.
She subsequently won gold at the World Championships held in
Saitama, Japan, in March.
"I'm taking a year to slowly think about what my next goal will be,"
the 23-year-old, known in Japan by affectionate nickname "Mao-chan,"
told a news conference in Tokyo on Monday, adding that she wanted a
break both physically and mentally.
"I don't know what the future holds and basically want to take
things as they come. As for the season after that, I'm still
half-and-half (on retiring)."
Known as the only woman to land three of the complicated triple Axel
jumps in competition, Asada struggled with it during most of the
season. She fell while attempting it in the short program but landed
it the next day.
Her score in the short program at the World Championships set a
world record, beating the previous record held by long-term rival
Kim Yu-na of South Korea, and she won handily to take the crown for
the third time.
Asada began skating at the age of five and began drawing global
attention while still at the junior level, which also saw the start
of her long rivalry with Kim, the same age.
After losing gold to Kim in Vancouver, Asada began to rebuild her
skating from the basics, struggling through several painful years
honing her skills.
"The first year and second year I was thinking all the time when I
practiced. It's all an issue of sense, of feeling," she told Reuters
in an interview in November 2013.
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"There's nothing I can put my finger on, but basically it was just a
matter of practicing every day until I got it."
She suffered a further blow in December 2011, when her mother,
Kyoko, died at the age of 48, sending her into a slump during which
she said she "hated skating."
Asada has said that ice shows are one possibility for her future but
that she would first like to travel, perhaps to a place like Bali
"where you can really take it easy."
Asked if she could visualize herself skating at the 2018 Olympics in
Pyeongchang, South Korea, she said no.
"It's hard to know, but I gave it all I had," she said, adding she
has resumed attending university. "At least for now, the thought of
not competing is fresh."
(Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)
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