Three World Cup ski jump meets that were to be held in Japan next month have been canceled due to strict border controls intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus Omicron variant, the Ski Association of Japan announced Saturday.
Since Nov. 30, Japan's government has banned the entry of nonresident foreign nationals, preventing foreign athletes and staff from entering Japan for competitions.
Women's competitions were slated for Jan. 8 and 9 in Sapporo and Jan. 14 and 15 in Zao, Yamagata Prefecture. A men's meet was slated for Sapporo from Jan. 21 to Jan. 23. This marks the second straight season these competitions have been abandoned.
The International Ski Federation is now looking for alternate venues to host the three meets. According to SAJ director Masahiko Harada, Japan's men's and women's World Cup ski jumpers will remain in Europe.
Japan men's ski jump team members for February's Beijing Olympics will be decided on Jan. 6 at the completion of their World Cup season. World Cup events up to Jan. 17 were to be used for the women's team selection, but going forward, the association is considering appropriate measures.
The new border controls have led to the cancellation of this month's Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final, the rescheduling of the Beijing Olympic speed skating qualifying trials and the postponement of a pair of world championship boxing matches.