Monday, March 14, 2011
Updated: March 15, 8:50 AM ET
Tokyo world championships postponed
LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- The International Skating Union has called off the world figure skating championships which were scheduled to start in Tokyo next week.
Parts of Japan have been devastated by an earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit last Friday, triggering emergencies at nuclear power plants.
The official death toll from the disaster is about 2,800 with thousands of people still missing. More than one million households are without power and water.
On Monday, the ISU said it was "not possible" to host the marquee figure skating event as scheduled from March 21-27.
ISU president Ottavio Cinquanta said the governing body took into account "critical developments" in Japan.
"The ISU's primary concern [is] for the safety of all participants, spectators and members of concerned entities as well as the travel advisories from many governments to avoid travel to Japan until the situation is settled," Cinquanta said in a statement.
"The postponement of the event or alternatively the final cancelation is under evaluation," the Italian official said.
The World Team Trophy in figure skating, scheduled to be held in Yokohama on April 14-17, also has been called off.
Cinquanta said the ISU was consulting with the Japan Skating Federation and other national authorities to decide when it was safe for teams to travel to Tokyo.
"As soon as the situation in this respect has been finalized, the ISU will inform all parties concerned of the decision taken," he said.
The ISU initially hoped to proceed with the worlds because the Yoyogi stadium venue was undamaged by Friday's earthquake.
However, on Sunday it was reconsidering because of the "very worrisome" nuclear crisis.