Curtain falls on first Beijing 2022 international test event
Published: Oct 12, 2021 08:33 AM
Athletes compete during the women's 1500m final at the Speed Skating China Open in Beijing, China, on Oct. 10, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)

Athletes compete during the women's 1500m final at the Speed Skating China Open in Beijing, China, on Oct. 10, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)

The China Open speed skating event, the first international competition of the Beijing 2022 test series, concluded on Sunday after all elements of the Games were tested.

The three-day competition witnessed athletes from China, the Netherlands and South Korea compete in 12 events at the National Speed Skating Oval, known as the "Ice Ribbon," and won praise for its strict pandemic prevention and control measures, first-class competition facilities as well as organization.

"This venue is grand and gorgeous, the pandemic prevention measures make me feel safe," said Isabel Grevelt, a Youth Winter Olympics champion from the Netherlands.

To ensure a safe and smooth international test competition, the organizers formulated an epidemic prevention manual that covered logistics, food, accommodation, transportation, training, competition and award ceremony, and a "closed-loop management system" was put in place for the test event, as is expected at the Games next year.

"The pandemic prevention management of this competition provides athletes with great protection," said Sophie Kraaijeveld of the Netherlands, who became the first international champion of the venue.

The timing and scoring system, awarding ceremony, ice projection system, special lighting and other sports displays, doping control, and media reception and other services also went through tests during the competition, according to the Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee.

"I am honored to participate in the competition on the venue that will host Beijing Winter Olympics. The venue is well-equipped with great facilities," said South Korea's Park Chae-won.

A total of 10 international competitions and three international training weeks are scheduled to be held by the end of the year. These will be held at eight venues across the Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou clusters, and include the Asian Open Figure Skating Trophy and International Skating Union Short Track Speed Skating World Cup at Beijing's Capital Indoor Stadium and the International Luge Federation Luge World Cup at the National Sliding Center.

Beijing 2022 said International Federations have been consulted over preparations for the Games, including on COVID-19 countermeasures.

The Organizing Committee claimed pandemic prevention and control is the top priority in its preparations for the test events.
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