Figure skating Grand Prix Final postponed until 2021

ISU Council say quarantine requirements forced them to delay GPF, which was set to double up as Beijing 2022 Olympic Games test event.

By Rory Jiwani

The International Skating Union (ISU) announced on Wednesday (30 September) that it had postponed the 2020/21 Grand Prix Final of Figure Skating, which had been scheduled for 10-13 December in Beijing.

Citing "pandemic developments", the ISU Council decided that logistical points concerning the potential need for athletes to quarantine on return to their home country and possibly miss national championships meant that the Grand Prix Final (GPF) would have to be moved to next year.

The GPF was also set to be a test event for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games.

The six Grand Prix competitions before the GPF have already been limited to skaters from the host country or those that train there.

The first event of the 2020/21 Grand Prix, Skate America, is scheduled for 23-25 October with two-time reigning GPF and world champion Nathan Chen set to compete in Las Vegas.

Spectators will not be admitted to the event, and skaters are limited to one Grand Prix assignment this season instead of the usual two.

Double Olympic champion Hanyu Yuzuru said last month that he would not take part in this year's Grand Prix due to global health concerns and his own asthma.

Russia's top skaters including reigning GPF champion Alena Kostornaia, now working under Evgeni Plushenko, look set to contest the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow from 20-22 November.

Evgenia Medvedeva, who has rejoined Eteri Tutberidze's Sambo-70 club from Brian Orser in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, is likely to be there too having taken part in the Russian test skates earlier this month.

Olympic silver medallist Uno Shoma faces something of a dilemma as he is coached in Switzerland by Stephane Lambiel.

His training base makes the Internationaux de France in Grenoble from 13-15 November the most likely option, although he could opt to return to Japan for the NHK Trophy in Osaka from 27-29 November with the All Japan Championships being held in Nagano in late December.

The ISU Council also decided that the World Cup Short Track Speed Skating event in Seoul, scheduled for 11-13 December, would be cancelled with the following week's competition in Beijing - another 2022 Winter Olympic Games test event - postponed.


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