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Japan's gold at Women's Softball World Championship drives interest in return of Softball, Baseball at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

posted Nov 17, 2014, 11:41 AM by Unknown user


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                26 August 2014




- Softball world title staged in Europe for first time showcases growth of women's sport in new markets 



HAARLEM, Netherlands -- Japan defeated the United States, 4-1, to win the first ever Women's Softball World Championship held in Europe, highlighting softball's continued expansion beyond traditional geographic boundaries as one of the world's most commercially successful, and popular spectator and participation sports for women, young girls and families.

Australia earned the bronze to spread the medal distribution of the women's championship among the Americas, Asia and Oceania. (See Photos.)

"We are developing the sports of softball and baseball in many areas such as the Muslim world, in Africa, and in Europe where interest, awareness, and club numbers and players are continuing to grow on this historic, sports loving continent, the cradle of modern sport,"said World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) President, Riccardo Fraccari.


Japan, the 2008 Olympic softball champions, finished softball's pinnacle global event with a perfect tournament record of 10-0, fueling further national speculation, interest and excitement in Japan about the possible inclusion of softball and baseball, the two most popular sports in the 2020 Olympic host nation, at the Tokyo Games.


With the Olympic sports selection process up for discussion at the IOC Session in Monaco in December, leadership of the WBSC, the recently merged international baseball and softball confederation, remains committed to working with the IOC and Tokyo 2020 organisers to earn the honour of having the sports included at the Olympic Games.


"Japan, like many other countries around the world, is a baseball and softball nation, and we are doing all we can to maximize the added-value that our bat-and-ball sports would deliver to the Olympic Games," President Fraccari said.


"We believe that the deep national history, pride and passion for baseball and softball in Japan, at all levels of Japanese society, would enable these sports to bring great value and enhance the Olympic experience at the Tokyo Games and for the 2020 Olympic host nation of Japan."


"The ten-day spectacle of women's sport highlighted softball's growing global popularity as one of the world's premier sports for women," said Dale McMann, WBSC Executive Vice President.


The XIV Women's Softball Championship featured sixteen national teams -- the maximum allowed -- from five world regions, and included Australia, Botswana, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Russia and United States.


"This was a premium event, with teams from three different continents in the top three," said Low Beng Choo, WBSC Secretary General.


"The medal distribution from the Americas to Asia and Oceania highlights the global spread and excellence of the sport and the athletes, and increases opportunities and awareness of women's sport," Low said. 


The attention will now shift to Miyazaki, Japan for the ENEOS Presents Women's Baseball World Cup 2014, which begins September 1. 


* 14th Women's Softball World Championship  

Final Standings




United States 






Chinese Taipei 






New Zealand 






Czech Republic 


Dominican Republic 






Puerto Rico 


Great Britain 



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About the World Baseball Softball Confederation:

Headquartered in the Olympic Capital city of Lausanne, Switzerland, the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) was established in April 2013 and granted recognition as the sole competent authority in baseball and softball by the International Olympic Committee at the 125th IOC Session in September 2013. The WBSC represents a united baseball/softball sports movement that encompasses over 65 million athletes worldwide.


The WBSC governs all international competitions involving any of the National Teams of its 141 National Federation members.  


The WBSC also oversees the Baseball World Cups and Softball World Championships and is the only sports organisation in the world that oversees a U-12 youth national team world championship.


The WBSC currently has National Federation members in 141 countries and territories across Asia, Africa, Americas (Caribbean, Central-, North- and South-America), Europe and Oceania. 


For further information, please go to www.WBSC.co.


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