Baseball Australia has made the difficult decision to pull out of the WBSC Baseball Final Qualifier, citing logistical challenges brought on by COVID-19 protocols. World No. 6 Australia would have been the top-ranked team in the final Olympic qualifier, which turns into a three-team fight for baseball’s final Olympic ticket.
“Attending the Final Olympic Qualifier in a COVID world was always going to present significant challenges,” Baseball Australia Chief Executive Glenn Williams stated. “We worked through multiple options and scenarios but the logistical challenges of providing a safe environment for the group were insurmountable.”
World No. 8 Venezuela, No. 9 Netherlands, and No. 10 Dominican Republic will now compete in the final qualifier from 22-26 June in Puebla, Mexico.
The three teams will start off with a round-robin, with the top finisher advancing directly into the final. The second- and third-place finishers from the round-robin will meet in a one-game playoff for a place in the final.
Dominican Republic and Venezuela finished in second- and third-place at the recent Americas Olympic Qualifier to earn the place in the final qualifier, while the Netherland’s finished in second-place in the September 2019 European/Africa Olympic baseball qualifier to earn their spot.
The winner in Mexico will be the sixth and final participant in the upcoming Olympic baseball tournament, joining No. 1 Japan, No. 2 USA, No. 3 Korea, No. 5 Mexico and No. 18 Israel.
The Olympic baseball tournament is guaranteed to feature five Top 10 teams from the WBSC Baseball World Rankings.
You might also be interested in:
– China out of Final Baseball Qualifier
– Chinese Taipei withdraws from Final Qualifiers