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