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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualification for Baseball and Softball revealed

4 April 2018

TOKYO 2020: The pathway to qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics for the Australian Softball and Baseball teams has become clearer after an announcement made by the World Baseball Softball Confederation.

At the recent meeting in Paris, the WBSC confrimed teams will have two opportunities to qualify for Tokyo 2020.

The Aussie Spirit's first opportunity to qualify for the Olympic Softball medal event will be this August at the WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship 2018 in Chiba, Japan. The first place finisher in Chiba will be awarded direct entry into the 2020 Games without having to pass through further qualifying events.

If Australia does not qualify at the World Championships in Chiba, the team will have another opportunity to earn their Olympic spot at the Asia/Oceania Qualifier.

This regional qualifying event will be an eight-team tournament, with the winner advancing to Tokyo 2020. Competing in this qualifier will be the top six finishers from the Asian Softball Championship 2019 and the top two teams from the Oceania Softball Championship 2019.

Host nation Japan will automatically be entered into the men’s baseball and women’s softball competition at Tokyo.

For Aussie Spirit Head Coach Fabian Barlow, the announcement of the qualifying rules provides welcome clarity but will not change the Team’s approach.

“At the end of the day the top six teams in the world will find their way to the 2020 Olympics, and if you’re good enough you will be there and if you’re not then you will be watching" Barlow said.

In the men's Olympic Baseball competition, the first opportunity to qualify will be the WBSC flagship Premier12 in November 2019. The Premier12’s top finisher from the Asia and Oceania zone will earn direct entry into Tokyo 2020 without having to pass through qualifiers.

Should Australia not qualify at the Premier 12, the team will need to win the 2019 Oceania Qualifier in order to compete in a six-team world tournament for the last remaining Olympic spot.

WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said the various qualification events will deliver some of the most exciting and meaningful international softball games ever seen.

“As the biggest sport in Japan, the historic return of Olympic Baseball and Softball is expected to make a major buzz and be a magical experience for the athletes and spectators alike, so we can expect that millions around the world will have their sights set on Tokyo 2020 and do whatever they can to be a part of it,” Fraccari said.

National Team roster sizes will be 15 athletes for Olympic Softball and 24 for Olympic Baseball.

WBSC will announce dates, locations and respective broadcast rights agreements of the qualifiers in future news releases.

WBSC/ Softball Australia / olympics.com.au

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