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Britain to host figure skating Grand Prix event for first time

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- Britain will host a figure skating Grand Prix event for the first time after the International Skating Union awarded it an event that China relinquished amid concerns over the coronavirus.

The ISU said Thursday that the English city of Sheffield will hold the Nov. 11-13 event. It will be the fourth of six regular Grand Prix events before the Grand Prix Final in Italy in December.

The Cup of China could not take place because of "the deteriorating COVID-19 sanitary situation in China," the ISU said last week, though that language has since been removed from its website.

China has imposed strict border controls during the pandemic and has canceled numerous sports events. China held this year's Winter Olympics in Beijing using a vast bubble system involving thousands of staff isolated from the rest of Chinese society.

Figure skating's governing body previously replaced the Russian round of the Grand Prix series with a competition in Finland following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.