LAUSANNE, June 23, 2008 - The 2010 world sprint speed skating championships have been moved from Finland to Japan.
The decision to change the location from Helsinki to Obihiro (Jan 16-17 2010) was made at the International Skating Union’s Council meeting in Monaco yesterday.
The only other 2010 championships awarded by the skating’s international governing body yesterday were the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships which have been set for April 9 - 10, 2010 in Colorado Springs/USA.
The council provisionally awarded the following for 2011:
ISU European Speed Skating Championships, January 7-9, 2011 Innsbruck/Austria
ISU World Sprint Speed Skating Championships, January 22-23, 2011 Heerenveen/Netherlands
ISU World Allround Speed Skating Championships, February 11-13, 2011 Calgary/Canada
ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships, February 25-27, 2011 Seinäjoki/Finland
ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships, March 18-20, 2011 Inzell/Germany
Short Track Speed Skating
ISU World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships, January 18-20, 2011 Aosta/Italy
ISU European Short Track Speed Skating Championships, January 14-16, 2011 Heerenveen/Netherlands
ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships, March 11-13, 2011 Sheffield/Great Britain
ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Team Championships, March 19-20, 2011 Warsaw/PolandSingle & Pair Skating/Ice Dance
ISU European Figure Skating Championships, January 24-30, 2011 Bern/Switzerland
ISU World Figure Skating Championships, March 21-27, 2011 Nagano, Japan
The 52nd ISU Ordinary Congress concluded on Friday, June 20 in Monaco. Five days earlier over 200 delegates from over 70 Members from all five continents had been welcomed to Monaco by HSH Prince Albert of Monaco. ISU President Ottavio Cinquanta officially opened the first session on Monday 16 June and spoke enthusiastically on the future of skating. He congratulated the young Federation Monegasque de Patinage who after becoming a full Figure Skating Member in 2005 have shown great dedication and he thanked them for the successful organization of the Congress. President Cinquanta said on Friday that the participation of so many Members from such a wide geographical area positively highlights the extent of interest in the ISU sport disciplines and reflects favorably on the future of ice skating.
The Congress decided to change the rules on the size of trademarks on clothing and technical equipment to facilitate sponsor support for competitive athletes. In the Speed Skating branch a motion to allow an additional advertising marking on the upper body was also passed.
Significant changes were brought in to the Olympic Winter Games qualification system consistent with the general qualification principles of the International Olympic Committee. The newly adopted system is based on similar criteria as those currently used in the qualification system for the ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships.
There have also been some changes to the drawing procedure for the Olympic Winter Games for the Team Pursuit event. Congress decided to remove a preliminary time trial phase in the team pursuit event which had initially been used at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. This stems from the qualification process changes and from the decision of the International Olympic Committee to retain the Team Pursuit event in the Olympic Winter Games program after its provisional entry in 2006.
An extension to the program of the ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships has been passed, allowing single distance titles in addition to the allround titles previously in place.
Changes to the entry quotas and format of the last distance of the World Sprint Speed Skating Championships were approved. The number of skaters in the last group has been reduced to 24 (12 pairs) thus making the final part of the competition more compact. The initiative is expected to raise the profile of the event providing heightened quality and excitement in the final stage.
The use of different time keeping technologies was reviewed and changes giving greater recognition to the photo finish system were adopted.
Significant changes were also brought in to the Olympic Winter Games qualification system for Short Track so at to simplify the procedure.
The format of the ISU World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships has been revised to give additional importance to Relay at Junior level. Under the newly approved rules Members can enter four competitors in the Ladies and Men’s relay team respectively (as opposed to three in the past) and the relay races will take place over 3000meters (as opposed to 2000 meters in the past).
In the Super Final over 3000m, the first skater to cross the finish line after 1000m would be entitled to 5 extra points thus raising the strategic importance of the first part of the race and improving attractiveness of the competition (note that if the skater is disqualified then these extra points would not be awarded to any skater)
Single and Pair Skating and Ice Dance
The Congress ratified the introduction of a new Compulsory Dance called the “Finnstep”; the dance was created by former European Ice Dancing Champions Susanna Rahkamo/Petri Kokko of Finland and their coach Martin Skotnicky and is based on Rahkamo/Kokko’s Original Dance from 1995, the year they became European Champions.
The ISU Congress passed a resolution accepting the principle that the Ice Dance discipline will be composed of two parts commencing in the 2010-2011 competitive calendar. The Congress also adopted guidelines for the implementation which foresees testing and analysis of a new dance format for the first segment of the Ice Dance event.
The Congress decided to reduce the required elements in the free program to allow increased innovation.
In Synchronized Skating, the Congress also decided to remove some elements from the Free Skating program so that the coaches would have more leeway to work in innovative choreography. A number of other rule changes were brought in essentially to reflect current practice and align the rules with the other disciplines in the Figure Skating branch