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Tokyo still planning to host world figure skating championships

The International Skating Union says it has no plans to cancel the world figure skating championships in Tokyo later this month after a massive earthquake hit Friday, but Skate Canada officials are still monitoring the situation.

The world championships are to begin March 21 at the Yoyogi Stadium, which was built for the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo.

Japanese Skating Federation officials had made an initial assessment and deem that the stadium was unscathed by the earthquake.

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Skate Canada plans to send 70 per cent of its delegation to Tokyo on March 18, including two-time world silver medalist Patrick Chan. Olympic ice dancing champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are to fly to Tokyo the next day.

"I think it's too early for us to tell," said Skate Canada chief executive officer William Thompson. "We're going to see what happens over the next few days and how the situation is. I'm just not confident at this point that we really know everything that's going on there. At the end of the day, what's most important to me to the safety of all of our team and athletes. If we feel it's unsafe, we'll assess it at that point."

Thompson said if there is a country that can recover quickly from an earthquake, that it is Japan, but on the other hand, he is concerned about aftershocks. And he doesn't know how long it will take for the transportation system to go back to normal.

He said Skate Canada will continue to monitor the situation and if they are still concerned in the coming days, he might allow coaches or athletes to make their own decisions about going to Tokyo.

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