Doubts emerge over Grand Prix final after Japan closes borders
The figure skating Grand Prix final was in doubt just nine days before the Osaka event as Japan closed its borders to all non-resident foreigners on Tuesday over concerns over the novel variant of the omicron coronavirus .
The International Skating Union Grand Prix final is seen as a key stop on the road to the Winter Olympics, with the Beijing Games scheduled for February 4-20.
“We will follow the Sports Agency’s instructions but we haven’t heard anything new yet,” an official from the Japan Skating Federation told Reuters when asked if foreign skaters would be allowed to enter. the country.
The Sports Agency said it was also unsure of what the rules would be for foreigners scheduled to take part in the event from December 9 to 12. An official added that the agency was still in talks with relevant ministries and agencies.
Americans Nathan Chen, Vincent Zhou and Jason Brown, and Russian Mikhail Kolyada are on the men’s singles list, along with Japan’s Yuma Kagiyama and Shoma Uno.
The women’s singles event will be contested by Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto and five Russians, including 15-year-old Olympic favorite Kamila Valieva.
Unlike other countries struggling with a resurgence in coronavirus infections, Japan has seen a significant drop in the number of daily cases, with just 76 reported nationwide on Monday.
He relaxed some border controls last week before Prime Minister Fumio Kishida abruptly changed course on Monday.
Japan on Tuesday confirmed its first case of the Omicron variant in a man who arrived in the country from Namibia.
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