Softball and Baseball Targets Secure Oly’s Spots | Avocado

Softball and baseball are pushing for a permanent return to the Olympic program after their revival at the Tokyo Games. Softball Australia and Baseball Australia are working with the international governing body, the World Baseball and Softball Confederation (WBSC) and the IOC to give sports a permanent place at the Olympics. The move was discussed at this week’s WBSC board meeting, held after the conclusion of the Under-23 Baseball World Cup in Mexico. Introduced to the program in 1996, women’s softball was dropped after the Beijing Games in 2008, where Australia won bronze. Men’s baseball first appeared in 1904, but suffered the same fate as softball after 2008, when the IOC removed a block of athletes from the Games. Australian baseball players missed their Tokyo Olympic qualification due to COVID-19 issues, last playing in 2004 where they won a silver medal. The sports will not be played in Paris in 2024, but are hoping for a recall to Los Angeles four years later and confirmation of their current status, including Brisbane in 2032. Softball Australia president Richard Lindell said the status Olympic gave sports greater visibility and helped increase participation rates. “The presence of our national teams at the Olympics is an immeasurable boost to our sporting profile and our market value,” said Lindell. “We have seen tremendous growth in our digital audiences during the recent Olympic period. “Becoming a permanent sport on the Olympic program would bring many benefits to our sport both financially and in terms of participation, so we hope to gain momentum in these areas by targeting a return for back-to-back Games in Los Angeles, Brisbane. and beyond. “The host nation winning both gold medals Baseball Australia boss Glenn Williams said the sports were showing record TV broadcast numbers in Japan while providing global appeal.” We are looking for it. look forward to working with the WBSC, our fellow national sports organizations and softball and baseball stakeholders across Australia to secure the future of our sports, ”he said. “Softball and baseball are incredibly inclusive and marketable sports around the world, they deserve a permanent fixture in the Olympic Cycle. Australian Associated Press


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