Breaking news

Asia Trophy 2019: officially cancelled


The Finnish team Helsinki Rockettes was originally announced for this Asian competition. (Credits: Kirsi Laine Photography)

Asia Trophy, the only Asian synchro competition of this season’s Challenger Series, was due to take place in Hong Kong on November 29-30. The event for the season 2019/20 has been cancelled. The ISU calendar has been updated today.

For a few days, some rumors concerning the Asia Trophy were being published on social networks. The ISU confirmed today to Jura Synchro the official cancellation of the 2019 Asia Trophy, which was to be held for the first time in Hong Kong at the end of November. The complicated political situation forced several teams to cancel their participation.

Teams from Canada, and then Russia chose not to participate in the competition due to the political situation. After that, teams from the USA also cancelled because there would not be enough countries to organize a Challenger Series competition. "Then, we also decided to go to the Spring Cup in Italy, instead of Hong Kong", explained the Finnish team Marigold IceUnity.

What’s happening in Hong Kong? A local perspective
On the National Day of China 1 October 2019, many massive protests took place in different districts of Hong Kong (Credits: no copyright - 2019)

Since June 2019 large-scale protests broke out against the proposed amendments to the existing laws for extradition of fugitives due to fear of extradition of political dissidents from Hong Kong to mainland China where separate political, economical and judicial systems operate. Although after months of protest the government agreed to the scrape the law amendment plan, the focus of protests shifts to, among other things, the alleged brutality and unaccountability of police.

"It can be a headache to plan journeys"

The course and scale of civil unrest are still evolving. Violent protests break out at weekends and public holidays. To visitors, their safety can still be reasonably guaranteed unless they seek to observe clashes at frontline, but the main annoyance is that metro often suddenly suspends its service in advance of or during protests and buses have to re-route or terminate early. In a congested city where public transportation dominates and roads become blocked suddenly due to the very dynamic nature of protest, it can be a headache to plan journeys.

Nevertheless, day-to-day life is quite normal and people still go to work and school mostly as usual (strikes have been small-scale and short-lived). One can feel being surreal that people continue with their usual activities even though violent clashes with tear gas firing are only a few blocks away.  Based on current status, I believe visitors to Hong Kong will find the current situation manageable and able to meet their objectives of visits. Indeed, airport operation has resumed normal and most businesses are operating as usual.

by Roy NG, Jura Synchro's reporter in Hong Kong

Following this cancellation, will the competition be replaced by another one? Or, will the first Challenger Series in the Synchronized Skating history only include four stages (instead of five)?

To be continued...