ISU Grand Prix Figure Skating Final in Japan to be canceled over Omicron threat
TOKYO. KAZINFORM - The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final featuring the top-six points-earners in each discipline will be canceled due to the emergence of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, a source familiar with the matter said Thursday, Kyodo reports.
The Grand Prix Final is the second-most prestigious annual event in the sport, behind only the world championships. This year, it was scheduled to take place in Osaka between Dec. 9 and Dec. 11 and serve as a tune-up for the Beijing Olympics in February.
Five Japanese skaters in three disciplines were on the rosters that were set following last week's Rostelecom Cup, the final competition of the 2021 Grand Prix Series. Russia claimed a total of 11 places across the four disciplines.
Yuma Kagiyama and Shoma Uno qualified for the men's event, Kaori Sakamoto qualified for the women's event, and Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara earned one of six spots available in pairs. No Japanese skaters qualified for the ice dance.
Two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu missed the Grand Prix season with an ankle injury.
The Grand Prix Final in Beijing was also canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Japanese government implemented strict border controls on Tuesday in an attempt to stop the Omicron variant from entering.