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Moscow to host of Figure Skating World Championships

Russian PM Vladimir Putin
Russian PM Putin offered financial support to the ISU

Moscow has been chosen as the replacement host city for this year's Figure Skating World Championships.

The event was originally due to be held in Tokyo but was postponed following the devastating earthquake and tsunami.

The International Skating Union said the championships will now take place at Moscow's Megasport arena from 24 April to 1 May.

Russia has pledged to speed up the processing of visas, which can be laborious to obtain.

"We have received an official letter from the International Skating Union (ISU), informing us that the 2011 World championships will be held in Moscow," said Valentin Piseyev, executive director of the Russian Figure Skating Federation.

Piseyev said the competition would be held at the 14,000-seat Hodynka arena, built in 2007 to host that year's Ice Hockey World Championship.

Moscow last hosted the Figure Skating Worlds in 2005 at the old Luzhniki Ice Palace.

On Tuesday, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said his country would cover all the costs of staging the event.

"I think we could give a helping hand to our Japanese colleagues as well as the [ISU]," he said.

"It's more of a goodwill gesture by us. It wouldn't cost too much, so we could cover all the expenses ourselves."

The ISU said in a statment: "Under these extraordinary circumstances, we ask for the full co-operation and understanding of the skating community in making this a successful event.

"The full co-operation of all participating ISU member federations hopefully attending in full strength will be of utmost importance."

Several countries other, including Canada, Italy, Finland and the United States, had also submitted bids to replace Tokyo.

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see also
Tokyo cancels World skating event
22 Mar 11 |  Winter Sports

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