For the second consecutive season, the International Skating Union (ISU) Grand Prix Final will not take place as scheduled – from December 9 to 12 in Osaka, Japan – due to the coronavirus pandemic. The ISU has officially postponed the competition after being informed by the Japan Skating Federation about the inability to host the event as planned.
According to the ISU’s statement, the competition has been cancelled due to the “complicated epidemic situation involving travel restrictions, quarantine requirements, safety concerns and logistical challenges.”
Doubt regarding the ISU Grand Prix Final arose at the beginning of the week, following the decision by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to prohibit entry into Japan for foreigners starting at midnight on November 30 – due to the new Omicron strain of COVID-19.
The ISU states that they will evaluate the possibility of a postponement and if there would be an opportunity to hold the event at the end of the season.
Last season, the ISU cancelled the entire ISU Junior Grand Prix series early in the season and confirmed that the senior level ISU Grand Prix series would continue in more of a domestic competition format – each event would invite competitors located domestically in an effort to limit travel during the pandemic. Last year’s ISU Grand Prix Final was initially postponed in September 2020, and conclusively cancelled in December 2020. It was scheduled to take place in Beijing, China.
The ISU Grand Prix Final is held simultaneously with the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final.
Qualifiers this season included –
ISU Grand Prix Final:
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
ISU Junior Grand Prix Final:
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, Anastasia Zinina (originally Isabeau Levito before withdrawing due to injury), 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