Russia to bid to host 2011 Figure Skating World Championship

Russia will send its bid on Tuesday to the International Skating Union (ISU) to host the 2011 Figure Skating World Championship, a Russian deputy sports minister said on Monday.

The World Championship was due to be held March 21-27 in Tokyo, but the ISU announced on Monday that the Japanese Skating Federation (JSF) declined to hold the competition in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the country 10 days ago.

“The official request to hold the Figure Skating World Championship in Moscow will be submitted with the ISU on Tuesday,” Deputy Sports Minister Yury Nagornykh said.

The official said Russia intends to propose the ISU to hold the championship either starting in mid-April or after May 15 so that it would not coincide with the Ice Hockey World Championship in Slovakia on April 29-May 15.

“Such two important and major events must not coincide. If choosing between these two variants, it would be preferable for us [Russia] to hold the championship in April,” Nagornykh said.

Earlier on Monday, the Finnish Skating Federation already sent its bid to the ISU proposing to hold the championship in Helsinki between April 24 and May 1.

The ISU initially planned to move the championship in Tokyo to the fall, but announced that it “fully understands the JSF decision.”

“As we all struggle to come to terms with the unimaginable tragedies following the monstrous earthquake of March 11, the ISU reiterates its expressions of grief and sympathy to all those affected by loss of life, injury and loss of homes,” the ISU said in its statement on Monday.

The death toll from a powerful earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan 10 days ago has risen to 8,450, with 12,931 people missing. The disaster triggered a number of explosions at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, spreading fears of massive radioactive contamination.


MOSCOW, March 21 (RIA Novosti)

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