Japan Win Rights to ’14 Skating Champs. After Withdrawal this Year

June 15, 2011

Japan has been awarded the rights to stage the World Figure Skating Championships in 2014, three months after being forced to withdraw from hosting this year’s event because of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the country.

The International Skating Union (ISU) announced that the event will be held in Tokyo or nearby Saitama. The news comes after this year’s World Championships were postponed form their initial slot in late March in Tokyo at the the Yoyogi National Stadium in the centre of the Japanese capital.

Japanese officials withdrew its hosting capabilities despite the capital being unscathed by the disastrous quake after several teams expressed fears about travelling there. The competition was in turn, awarded to Moscow.

In the meantime, the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) are expected to announce next month that they plan to launch a bid for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

Japanese Olympic officials expect to know within weeks if Tokyo will bid for the Games after JOC president Tsunekazu Takeda told The Associated Press: “We expect a decision will be in late June or early July. Tokyo had a great plan for 2016, and has excellent financing.”

Takeda said a bid by Tokyo for the 2020 Summer Olympics could go a long way in helping Japan rebuild from the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March.