Virtual but Real: 34 Chinese Teams Took Part in the Interclub League


Synchro skating is flourishing in northern and eastern China. (Credits: Weibo - 2021)

The 2021 Chinese Figure Skating Interclub League virtual competition attracted 34 synchro teams who submitted their videos for judgement.

ADV picture
The Chinese Figure Skating Interclub League is held annually since 2018. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was not held in 2020, and this year was the third game of the series.

Although in China, local COVID cases have been mostly eliminated and daily life has resumed almost normally, the national mandate is limiting mass gathering, and organizers of sports competitions have to meet strict pandemic control measures. 

Chinese Figure Skating Association decided to hold the games virtually and asked skaters to submit videos of their performances.

ADV picture
The League included all disciplines of figure skating.  As for synchro, a total of 34 synchro teams, which mostly came from Beijing, Shanghai and Harbin, entered the competition. The League’s competitive games had four categories of Senior, Junior, Novice and Juvenile and they were scored based on the ISU Judging System.

The League had two stages. The first stage consisted of three sessions which were held on 9-10, 11-12 and 13-14 August. Participating teams chose which session they entered.

After the three sessions teams were then selected and invited by the organizer to take part in the Final which was held on 1-2 September. Judges of the Final were probably harsher since most teams scored lower in the Final stage.

The results
In the Senior category, the Harbin team Ice Pearl was officially declared the winner. Their highest score, which was from the third session was 103.73 (SP: 39.35; FS: 64.38) while they scored 97.51 at the Final. 

It is noteworthy that the Storm Team from the northern city Shenyang had the highest score of 106.48 (SP: 38.1; FS: 68.38) from the second session but they did not enter the Final.

The Beijing teams Grace (SP: 24.98; FS: 41.29; total: 66.27) and XianCao (SP: 20.88; FS: 42.03; total: 62.91) came third and the last.

Team Ice Pearl (Credits: Organizer official WeChat post - 2021)

Shining Legend Junior which came from Shanghai was the sole participant of the Junior category.  They scored 22.44 and 49.91 respectively for their SP and FS.

Team Shining Legend Junior (Credits: Organizer official WeChat post - 2021)

The Novice category was the most competitive, with 16 teams eyeing on the top honour. Teams only skated their FS program.

The Young Dream team from Harbin scored the highest, 65.18. According to the official press release, their program was a tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party, and the average age of the 17 skaters was only 11.

Team Young Dream  (Credits: Organizer official WeChat post - 2021)

As regards the Juvenile category, the Shanghaiese team JingLing (16.43) edged out Team Radiance 2 (16.38) and BingZhiYi (13.44) and won the game.

In addition to the four categories, the League also had a Mixed Age category which was recreational in nature and the teams were judged on their artistry only.

The Shanghaiese Five Stars team (20.86) came marginally ahead of the first runner up Wing of Ice (20.84). The remaining eight teams scored 19.08 to 13.76.

The 2021 Chinese Figure Skating Interclub League. (Credits: Organizer official WeChat post - 2021)

The organizer of the League paid much attention to ensuring the virtual events were conducted as similarly as live events. They set up a broadcasting studio with commentators to report the events as the skating videos were streamed online. 

Teams seemed to embrace well the idea of virtual events and responded actively to the call for entries.  

We earlier reported that in Southern China, teams had too few skaters, and their programs could see more connection between skaters. In contrast, synchro is flourishing in northern and eastern China, where a healthy competitive scene is present for driving teams to develop.  

New competition season has just begun in China, and hopefully, teams continue to grow and one day appears on international stages when the world opens up.

You want to see some Chinese teams competing?

The second session is still available on Weibo or you can try here for replays.

ADV picture