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ISU Figure Skating Grand Prix Final canceled

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-12-03 09:47
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TOKYO - The International Skating Union (ISU) Figure Skating Grand Prix Final has been canceled because Japan has closed its borders for foreign visitors, the ISU announced on Thursday.

The ISU said in a statement that the decision was made by the Japan Skating Federation (JSF) that the event, slated in Osaka for Dec 9-12, cannot take place as planned.

"Unfortunately, considering the complicated epidemic situation involving travel restrictions, quarantine requirements, safety concerns and logistical challenges, the organization of the event was extremely challenging. The Japan Skating Federation and the Local Organizing Committee tried their best to find solutions but ultimately concluded that, regrettably, they are unable to organize and hold the event as planned.

"The ISU regrets that the hosting of the event is no longer possible in Osaka in December. The ISU will evaluate a possible postponement to hold the event at the end of the season and will take a decision as soon as possible," read the statement.

Japanese newspaper Sports Daily said earlier that the JSF had been in close talks with the government since Prime Minister Fumio Kishida imposed a ban on new entries by all foreign visitors from Tuesday for fear of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19.

But the Japanese government has refused to give the green light to the tournament, the most important figure skating event before the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

Han Cong and Sui Wenjing, China's Olympic gold hopeful, had qualified for the event, which features the top six points-earners in each discipline after six legs of the 2021 Grand Prix Series.

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