The 2017 International Skating Union World Junior Figure Skating Championships gets underway March 15 in Taipei City, with nearly 200 athletes from 43 countries taking part in the biggest event of its kind ever staged in Taiwan.
Running until March 19, the championships comprise the disciplines of men's singles, ladies' singles, pair skating and ice dancing. It ranks behind only the Winter Olympics and ISU World Figure Skating Championships in scale and prestige.
Top local athletes to watch at the championships include Amy Lin, who finished 21st in women's singles at the 2016 ISU World Figure Skating Championships, and Tsao Chih-i, who came 18th in men's singles at the Winter Universiade in February.
Eddy Wu, secretary-general of Chinese Taipei Skating Union, the sport's national governing body, said the championships underscore Taipei's ambition to promote itself as a city of sports. It is also expected to boost the people of Taiwan's interest in ice skating and take the sport's development to a new level, he added.
Taipei was chosen as host of the championships on the strength of its world-class venue and passionate army of volunteers, Wu said, adding that Taipei Arena is the only ISU-certified facility in Taiwan and has served as the venue for a number of successfully organized and staged figure skating events since opening in 2005, he added.
In 2011, 2014 and 2016, the arena hosted the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships. The competition, which is a major ISU annual event attended by athletes from non-European countries, will take place again next year in Taipei.
An estimated 10,000 people regularly take to the ice at Taipei Arena and six other rinks nationwide, including an outdoor one in eastern Taipei's Nangang District during winter, according to CTSU.
Source: Taiwan Today