Moscow named host city for 2011 ISU World Figure Skating Championships

Mar 24, 2011

By Canadian Press

MOSCOW _ Moscow has been chosen as the replacement venue for this year's figure skating world championships, which originally were to be in Tokyo.

The International Skating Union announced Thursday that the championships will be held April 24-May 1 at the Russian capital's Megasport arena.

The championships were to be held this week in Tokyo, but those plans were cancelled in the wake of the recent devastating earthquake and nuclear crisis.

An ISU statement said Russia has promised easy access to visas, which often can be laborious to obtain.

``Under these extraordinary circumstances the ISU asks for the full co-operation and understanding of the skating community and all involved entities in making this a successful event,'' the statement said. ``The full co-operation of all participating ISU member federations hopefully attending in full strength will be of utmost importance.''

Moscow hosted the skating world championships in 2005, but at a different arena.

Canada was one of six countries to offer to serve as replacement host for Japan, bidding to hold the event in Vancouver.

Skate Canada CEO William Thompson had been realistic about Canada's chances however, considering Quebec City was recently awarded the 2011 Grand Prix Final and the 2013 world championships are slated for London, Ont.

``We applaud the Figure Skating Federation of Russia for stepping forward and offering to host the event,'' Thompson said in a statement. ``(The Russian federation) will have strong support throughout the country to plan and execute these championships in such a tight timeline. And if we can help in any way, Skate Canada will certainly provide assistant to our colleagues in Russia.''