• AFP-Jiji


Figure skating’s Grand Prix Final, scheduled for Dec. 10-13 in Beijing, has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, the International Skating Union has announced.

The ISU said international travel and quarantine restrictions would make it hard to attract a strong field.

The event was to be held in the rink that will be used for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

The ISU said in a statement posted on its website on Thursday that it was “evaluating the continuation of the 2020-21 season, in particular the rescheduling possibilities for the important Olympic Test Events.

“In view of the ongoing developments of the pandemic and its impact on participants and organizers, the ISU board has decided to cancel or postpone a number of events,” said the ISU.

Two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu had already announced he would skip this season’s Grand Prix series because of the pandemic.

The Japanese skating star, who has asthma, said he may face a higher risk if he is infected.

The short-track World Cup event in Beijing from Dec. 18-20 has also been postponed.

“For the Olympic ‘test events’ in Beijing, there are a number of logistical issues for the teams participating on the chosen dates, close to the end-of-year holidays, which would have had an impact on the entries, as they potentially had to be placed in quarantine on their return home,” said the ISU.

The new dates for the two Beijing events will be announced “at a later date,” the ISU said.

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