• Nguyen, Daleman headline Canada's figure skating team competing in Osaka
    The Canadian Press

    Nguyen, Daleman headline Canada's figure skating team competing in Osaka

    OSAKA, Japan — In a season all but erased by COVID-19, a handful of Canadian figure skaters will have one last chance to compete at this week's World Team Trophy in Osaka, Japan. Nam Nguyen and Roman Sadovsky are the men's singles skaters, Alison Schumacher and Gabrielle Daleman will compete in women's singles, Lori-Ann Matte and Thierry Ferland are Canada's pairs team, and Carolane Soucisse and Shane Firus will compete in ice dance. The Team Trophy, which runs Thursday through Sunday, awards points to countries in the four disciplines combined. Canada won gold in the team event at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, and silver in the event in 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Canada is sending a different team than the one that competed at the world figure skating championships last month in Stockholm, giving precious competition experience to skaters in a season that was virtually wiped out by the global pandemic. Both Skate Canada International and the Canadian championships were cancelled. The only semi-competitive event skaters completed in was the Skate Canada Challenge which was virtual - far from ideal in a pre-Olympic season. As of now, a limited number of fans will be allowed in Maruzen Intec Arena, despite rising COVID-19 cases in Osaka. Athletes will compete in a bubble environment, travelling only between the designated hotel and arena. The Tokyo Olympic torch relay recently cancelled the leg that was scheduled to pass through Osaka on Tuesday and Wednesday, raising questions about whether the Team Trophy would still go ahead. Osaka governor Hirofumi Yoshimura announced Sunday he may request a state of emergency amid the steep climb in COVID-19 cases and growing signs of a fourth wave driven by new variants. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 12, 2021. The Canadian Press

  • Masters champion Matsuyama open to lighting Tokyo Olympic cauldron
    Reuters

    Masters champion Matsuyama open to lighting Tokyo Olympic cauldron

    Hideki Matsuyama cut a solitary figure as he walked alone to the clubhouse to sign his card after winning the Masters on Sunday, even if all of Japan was with him in spirit. After exchanging hugs beside the 18th green with his small entourage, a stoic Matsuyama was left to himself to sign his scorecard and prepare for a new life that will never be the same after becoming the first Masters champion from Asia. Even before the winning putt dropped the notion was already being raised, by three-times Masters champion Nick Faldo, that Matsuyama could be chosen to light the cauldron at the Olympics opening ceremony in the Japan National Stadium on July 23.

  • 70% of Japanese want Tokyo Games cancelled or delayed: poll
    Reuters

    70% of Japanese want Tokyo Games cancelled or delayed: poll

    More than 70% of people in Japan want the Tokyo Olympics to be cancelled or delayed as the coronavirus pandemic rolls on, a Kyodo News poll showed on Monday, just over 100 days ahead of the planned start of the Games. Tokyo on Monday began a month-long period of quasi-emergency measures to blunt a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections driven by virulent mutant strains. More than 92.6% of respondents felt anxiety about the resurgence of infections, the Kyodo survey conducted from April 10 to 12 showed.