Japan_earthquakeMarch 14 - The International Skating Union (ISU) confirmed today they will not be going ahead with the World Figure Skating Championships in Tokyo this month due to the current devastation in the country.

Japan is still coming to terms with the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami which has left the region in turmoil, with many thousands feared dead.

The Championships were due to take place between March 21-27 at the Yoyogi National Stadium and discussions are now being held over whether to postpone the competition or cancel it outright.

The ISU World Team Trophy, scheduled for April 14-17 in Yokohama, is facing a similar decision.

An official ISU statement read: "Taking into account the continued critical developments in Japan, the ISU's primary concern 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, the ISU in consultation and agreement with the Japan Skating Federation (JSF) and in line with the advice of the Japanese authorities, has concluded that the staging of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2011 scheduled to be held on March 21-27, 2011 is not possible.

"The postponement of the event, or alternatively the final cancellation, is under evaluation.

"As soon as the situation in this respect has been finalised, the ISU will inform all parties concerned of the decision taken."

It is the first time in 50 years the World Figure Skating Championships have been called off.

In 1961 the competition, to be held in Prague, was called off after an American delegation was killed when their plane crashed on landing in Brussels.

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March 2011: World Figure Skating Championships in Tokyo in doubt after earthquake