Japan still hopes to host worlds

Kyodo News

The Japan Skating Federation will try to arrange the world figure skating championships and the world figure skating team event in September or early October, JSF chief Seiko Hashimoto said Wednesday.

The announcement came two days after the International Skating Union said the staging of the world championships scheduled for March 21-27 in Tokyo is not possible, citing safety concerns amid critical developments in Japan following last week’s devastating earthquake.

Hashimoto also told a press conference in Tokyo that Japan is prepared to inform the ISU that the April 14-17 World Team Trophy in Yokohama needs to be postponed as well.

According to Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport, the International Skating Union is considering whether to cancel the world figure skating championships or postpone them to October in Japan or another country.

“The respect for the Japanese people ahead of everything,” ISU President Ottavio Cinquanta was quoted by the Italian newspaper as saying. “Our council will consider the situation very carefully. Presumably though, we will opt for the complete cancellation, or a postponement to October.”