Sochi skating finals attracted 25,000

Sochi: About 25,000 people turned up for last weekend`s Grand Prix figure skating finals in Sochi, the chief organiser of the 2014 Winter Games said.

The competition, the first international test event for the Olympic Park, was hailed as a success with Japanese stars Mao Asada and Daisuke Takahashi taking home gold medals in their respective fields.

But one area of concern raised by Finnish skater Kiira Korpi was the sparse crowd at the 12,000-capacity Iceberg Skating Palace arena.

"The ticketing system passed its first test too, in total the Grand Prix Finals were visited by 25,000 people," said Dmitry Chernyshenko Monday in comments relayed via the organising committee.

Korpi had complained after her short programme Friday.

"Actually I was expecting a bit more audience because someone told me it would be sold out," she said.

"Hopefully for the Olympics it will be more crowded."

The next test for the arena is the Dec 24-28 Russian national championships, which are expected to feature Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko.

IANS/RIA Novosti