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5th World University Baseball Championship

Tokyo, Japan - July 29th to August 8th, 2010

 

Opening Ceremony

Like Cuba and the USA, Japan is one of the traditionally powerful countries in baseball. So it is not surprising to see the university sports federation of that country (JUSB) apply to organize the 5th WUC Baseball in Tokyo.

Baseball is indeed very popular in Japan, so much so that the All-Japan University Baseball Federation groups 380 colleges and universities representing more than 20,000 players. There are 12 professional teams in Japan that attract more than 20 million fans. Needless to say, the conditions for this championship were ideal in Tokyo. The tournament, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies, took place in the Meiji Jingu stadium, "THE" university baseball stadium, an ultramodern infrastructure that can seat 35,000!

Since the first edition took place in Italy in 2002, the WUC Baseball has earned its place as one of the star sports of our programme. This year, the mark was placed still higher by the professionalism of the organization, the excellence of the facilities and the concern for quality of the teams enrolled.

Putting it simply, the organizing committee managed every aspect of the tournament to perfection – transport, reception, meals, ceremonies, umpires, housing and everything else...

Eight teams – the maximum – participated, including very strong countries like Cuba, the United States of America, Korea, Chinese Taipei and Japan, for the certainty of a great show. But this in no way belittles the performance of other teams like Canada, China or Sri Lanka. They simply had to work harder to counter the "winning machines".

Three teams stood out from the ranks. From the outset of the tournament, they chalked up incredible scores like 18-0 inflicted on Korea by Cuba or 11-0 when the USA faced China in the preliminary rounds and finally, 13-0 for Japan versus Chinese Taipei in the quarter finals.

It is hard to rival the best teams under these conditions, but fortunately, the strength of the others was fairly consistent, so the games were quite balanced. Only Sri Lanka was really struggling, but we were still very happy to have the team participate.

There was no doubt as to the top three that would take the spots on the podium.

Cuba was really very powerful this year, rising to the final with surprising ease and smashing all the teams on the way. In the other group, the United States of America also made it to the final, but without overwhelming the competition. For example, in the semi-final, Cuba stomped Korea with a score of 11 to 1, while the USA took the match against Japan by 4 runs to 2. Japan got  consolation by besting Korea 9 to 0 in the match for the bronze medal. 

The final, a great classic if ever there was one, opposed Cuba and the USA for the greater pleasure of a large audience of connoisseurs.

The game could be summarized as a duel between the pitchers – Gonzales for Cuba and Cole for the USA – to the point that, for the third time in the championship games, extra innings had to played for a tie-break. The tenth inning started out well for the USA until Cuban Despaigne made the difference in a magnificent play that earned the gold medal for Cuba on a final score of 4-3. The conclusion to a superb university tournament.

We meet again in 2012, in Taoyuan, Chinese Taipei for the 6th edition of the World University Baseball Championship.

 

 

Numbers

  • Countries: 8
  • Male Athletes: 169
  • Female Athletes: 0
  • Officials: 64
  • Total Participants: 233

 

RESULTS