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World champion Sui Wenjing sad after figure skating worlds canceled

2020-03-12 15:11:00 Xinhuanet

BEIJING, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Two-time world pairs figure skating champion Sui Wenjing said on Thursday it was "sad" news that the world championships scheduled from March 16 to 22 in Montreal, Canada has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns.

"Han Cong and I just practised one more time this morning the free skating routine we prepared for the worlds," said the 24-year-old who has paired with Han to win the worlds twice in 2017 and 2019 and finished second in the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games in 2018.

"I had hoped to perform at the worlds. I wanted to bring more courage to our compatriots, and we even planned to express our gratitude to the doctors and nurses fighting against the coronavirus.

"But I also fully understand the decision. I wish everybody to keep healthy," added Sui, who burst into tears at the moment of finding out about the event's cancelation.

The sport's world ruling body ISU made the announcement late on Wednesday in Lausanne, Switzerland, shutting the door on the possibility of postponing the worlds to a later date.

"With the uncertainty surrounding the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Skate Canada and the International Skating Union (ISU), were informed today by the Government of Quebec that they have decided to cancel the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2020," read the ISU statement.

"Like the authorities, the ISU and Skate Canada are committed to the health and safety of the athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers and spectators.

"Considering the current uncertain developments surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic, a rescheduling and/or relocation of the above-mentioned Championships within the current season, even if the season would be extended by several weeks after its normal end in early April, cannot be reasonably considered," it said.

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