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December, 5, 2016

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ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships to come to Taipei

TAIPEI -- The annual International Skating Union (ISU) Four Continents Figure Skating Championships will take to the ice in Taipei this week, with organizers hoping that the eye-catching display will promote the sport among Taiwanese spectators.

The international competition will dazzle audiences at Taipei Arena starting Wednesday and running through Saturday, said Roger Yin, vice president of the Chinese Taipei Skating Union, one of the organizers.

"We would like to use this opportunity to promote this high-class, elegant sport," Yin said at a pre-event press conference.

It is the second time that Taiwan has held the event. Taipei first held the championship in 2011.

Nearly 100 male and female skaters from 15 countries are scheduled to compete in the men's singles, ladies' singles, pairs, and ice dance categories.

Some competitors are Olympic skaters set to participate in the Sochi Winter Olympics next month, including Denis Ten from Kazakhstan, Misha Ge from Uzbekistan, So Youn Park from South Korea, Li Zijun from China and Kanako Murakami from Japan.

Taiwanese male skaters Tsao Chih-i, Jordan Ju and Chen Jui-shu and female skaters Crystal Kiang and Melanie Chang also qualified for the event. Chang, however, has withdrawn due to injury, the organizers said.

Tsao, 16, told reporters that it will be his first international skating competition for adults and that he is happy it is taking place in his hometown.

"I have increased the difficulty of my two performances, and I aim to do them flawlessly," he said, adding that he has been working on his jumps with a Chinese coach.

Kiang, meanwhile, said she will "perform for fun, no pressure," expressing hope that more Taiwanese spectators will cheer for them, as admission to the four-day event is free.

"This is a great opportunity for them to see what this sport is really like," the 23-year-old said.

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