• KYODO, AP

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The International Skating Union named Saitama as host city for the 2023 world figure skating championships on Friday.

The Japan Skating Federation was up against Budapest and Minsk in its bid to host the event at Saitama Super Arena, north of Tokyo, in March 2023.

It will be the eighth time the tournament will take place in Japan and the first time since 2019, when it was also held at Saitama Super Arena.

The ISU also announced the Four Continents Championships, scheduled for February in Australia, has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 2023 Four Continents will be staged in Sydney instead.

"Considering the pandemic developments and related impact on the organizers and participants of ISU events, the ISU Council decided to cancel,” the governing body for the sport said in a statement Friday.

The figure skating season begins Oct. 23 and has already seen the cancellation of Skate America in Las Vegas, the Grand Prix Final in Beijing and Skate Canada in Ottawa. The other five Grand Prix series events are on, but only skaters from the host nation or those training in that country are able to compete. Those events are in Russia, France, China and Japan.

The ISU awarded the 2022 Four Continents to Tianjin, China, but did not set a date. The Winter Olympics are scheduled for Beijing in February 2022.

Also awarded were the 2023 European Figure Skating Championships to Helsinki; the 2023 World Junior Championships to Calgary

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