Omicron forces cancelation of ISU Grand Prix Final in Japan
The International Skating Union (ISU) has canceled its Grand Prix Final in Osaka, Japan, after being informed by local organizers that the event could not go ahead as planned.
The Grand Prix showpiece was due to be held from December 9 to 12, but an ISU statement on Thursday said that the “complicated” situation surrounding travel restrictions meant it could not proceed.
Japan shut its borders to foreign visitors earlier this week in a bid to stop the spread of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus.
“Unfortunately, considering the complicated epidemic situation involving travel restrictions, quarantine requirements, safety concerns and logistical challenges, the organization of the event was extremely challenging,” a statement from the ISU read.
“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 will evaluate a possible postponement to hold the event at the end of the season and will take a decision as soon as possible. The ISU thanks the Japan Skating Federation for their efforts and cooperation.”
The Grand Prix Final features the best performers from the season’s ISU series.
This year’s ladies’ singles event was particularly anticipated among fans and was set to feature five Russian skaters out of the six contenders.
Renowned Russian figure skating trainer Tatiana Tarasova has already said that Russia could step in to host the Grand Prix Final “at short notice” if needed.