Softball Australia has launched a bid to host the 2019 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WSBC) Olympic Qualifier at Blacktown International Sportspark in Sydney.
The tournament will determine which nation from the Asia/Oceania region will qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games with eight teams, including Australia, set to battle it out for the coveted spot.
“Australia has a proud Olympic record, having won medals at every Olympics in which softball has been contested, and our focus is firmly on securing a place in Tokyo when softball makes its return to Olympic competition,” Softball Australia CEO David Pryles said.
Sydney has a strong history hosting international softball events including the 2000 Olympic Games, the highly successful 2018 Asia Pacific Cup and has been the venue for many other events, including the Down Under Series, in recent years.
“Australia has shown our ability over many years to produce successful, well-organised tournaments that showcase softball to the world and deliver a memorable experience for players, coaches and fans,” Pryles said.
“What better way to further our chances of securing Australia’s Olympic spot than to host the qualifying tournament in front of a home crowd and at the same venue where softball was played at the 2000 Olympics Games” Pryles continued.
Australia’s national team, Aussie Spirit, have recently returned from the XVI Women’s World Softball World Championship in Japan where they finished fourth – the highest placed finisher from Asia/Oceania nations seeking to qualify.
The 2020 Olympic softball tournament will be contested between six teams with the USA (winners of the recent World Championship) and Japan (host nation) already guaranteed a spot. Two more teams will be selected from the Americas, one from Europe/Africa and one from Asia/Oceania.
The World Baseball Softball Confederation is expected to announce its decision on the successful bid in mid-September.