Japan closes borders to foreigners ahead of ISU Grand Prix Final

Gold medalist Kamila Valieva, silver medalist Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, and bronze medalist Maiia Khromykh during the medal ceremony of the 2021 Rostelecom Cup at the Iceberg Skating Palace on November 28, 2021 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/International Skating Union via Getty Images)

The International Skating Union (ISU) Grand Prix Final is scheduled to take place from December 9 to 12 in Osaka, Japan; however, the latest news regarding the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 might put the event in jeopardy.

On Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced that entry into Japan will be prohibited for foreigners starting at midnight on November 30. These safety measures are going into effect as a precaution while details surrounding the new variant of the coronavirus are being evaluated.

General Director of the Figure Skating Federation of Russia Alexander Kogan has stated that figure skaters participating at the competition must arrive in Japan on December 6. He said, “All athletes who will participate in the Grand Prix Final must arrive in Japan on December 6 in accordance with the requirements of local authorities.”

Meanwhile, the President of the Figure Skating Federation of Russia Aleksandr Gorshkov commented on the latest news from Japan and told Sport24, “Could the closure of the borders in Japan affect the participation of our skaters? I don’t know. We do not have such information. No threat to participation? As of now, I am unable to say anything.”

The ISU Grand Prix Final and the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final are held simultaneously to culminate the season’s series – six participants in each discipline qualify based on results from six events.

Qualifiers to the the ISU Grand Prix Final are:

Men – Yuma Kagiyama, Shoma Uno, Vincent Zhou, Nathan Chen, Mikhail Kolyada, Jason Brown

Women – Kamila Valieva, Anna Shcherbakova, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Maiia Khromykh, Kaori Sakamoto, Alena Kostornaia

Pairs – Anastasia Mishina / Aleksandr Galliamov, Wenjing Sui / Han Cong, Evgenia Tarasova / Vladimir Morozov, Aleksandra Boikova / Dmitrii Kozlovskii, Daria Pavliuchenko / Denis Khodykin, Riku Miura / Ryuichi Kihara

Ice Dance – Gabriella Papadakis / Guillaume Cizeron, Victoria Sinitsina / Nikita Katsalapov, Madison Hubbell / Zachary Donohue, Piper Gilles / Paul Poirier, Madison Chock / Evan Bates, Charlene Guignard / Marco Fabbri

Qualifiers to the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final are:

Men – Ilia Malinin, Ilya Yablokov, Gleb Lutfullin, Kirill Sarnovskiy, Wesley Chiu, Egor Rukhin, Lucas Tsuyoshi Honda

Women – Sofia Akateva, Veronika Zhilina, Sofia Muravieva, Adelia Petrosian, Isabeau Levito, Lindsay Thorngren, Rion Sumiyoshi

Pairs – Ekaterina Chikmareva / Matvei Ianchenkov, Natalia Khabibullina / Ilya Knyazhuk, Anastasia Mukhortova / Dmitry Evgenyev, Ekaterina Petushkova / Evgenii Malikov

Ice Dance – Irina Khavronina / Dario Cirisano, Vasilisa Kaganovskaia / Valeriy Angelopol, Katarina Wolfkostin / Jeffrey Chen, Natalie D’Alessandro / Bruce Waddell, Sofya Tyutyunina / Alexander Shustitskiy, Oona Brown / Gage Brown

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