Cinquanta, the ISU president, has announced that the figure skating tournament that should have taken place in Tokyo next week, will either be cancelled or postponed to next October: “At the moment respect for the Japanese people prevails”
MILAN, 15 March 2011 – “The respect for the Japanese people ahead of everything.” This will be the main focus of the ISU as it decides what will be of the 2011 figure skating World Championships that were scheduled to take place in Tokyo next week, but that were officially cancelled by the federation on Monday given the situation. What now appears to be certain, and that dismisses the suggestions emerged in the latest hours, is that the competition will not take place in the coming weeks at a different venue – said the Milan-born Ottavio Cinquanta, president of the international federation – it wouldn’t be correct towards a country that has been struck by such a tragedy and towards the Japanese federation, which was awarded the right to stage the competition. Furthermore, as far as the logistics are concerned, it would be very difficult given the time constraints. Staging a World Championship is no easy task.
THREE OPTIONS — There are three possibilities, as Cinquanta explained: “Our council will consider the situation very carefully. Presumably though, we will opt for the complete cancellation, or a postponement to October. In Tokyo, if the authorities give us the go ahead, or in a city in a different country, and in that eventuality there would be the promise to award Japan with an edition in the future. As soon as possible we will make a statement to make our decision official.”
the future — At the moment, the 2012 edition of the competition has been awarded to France (Nice) and the 2013 one to Canada (London, Ontario). It should also be kept in consideration that the first stage of the next Senior Grand Prix (Skate Canada) is scheduled to take place from 21 to 23 October; and that the only edition of a World Championship to be cancelled was in 1961, when the plane that carried the American team crashed during its landing in Brussels: 72 people died, of which 34 were part of the US team.Andrea Buongiovanni