ISLAMABAD, Aug 27 (APP):With an eye on Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Pakistan Federation Baseball (PFB) will field a strong outfit in the 29th BFA Asian Baseball Championship.
“We’ve the resolve to finish at the top in the Championship as that will ensure a direct entry into the Olympics,” President of PFB, Syed Fakhar Ali Shah told APP.
The continental event, which will be staged in Chinese Taipei from October 14 to 20 will win the place in Olympics for the top finishers.
“We are preparing our team with the conviction to emerge victorious in the Championship. Qualifying for the quadrennial extravaganza will be a dream coming true,” Shah said of the Olympics where Pakistan baseball team has never been be able to feature in the past.
Pakistan qualified for the Asian Championship after claiming second spot in the just-held West Asia Baseball Cup in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Organized by Baseball Federation of Asia, the biennial continental event is the first level tournament in which national baseball teams of Asian countries compete against each other. Since 1983 the Championship is also considered as the qualification event for the baseball at the Olympics Games if the event year is exactly one year prior to them.
“We know it is not an easy task but you have to work hard to achieve your goals. Our goal is to make it to the Olympics and we have the belief that it is achievable,” Shah added.
He said that the motivation level of players was at an all-time high and they were eager to perform at Asian Championship.
Pakistan are currently at number 24 on the ranking list of World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC).
The bat-and-ball sport, which last made its appearance in coveted quadrennial event in 2008 Beijing Olympics is one of five sports added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games. The first baseball outfit to book a ticket for the Games will be winner of the WBSC Baseball Europe/Africa Qualifier, taking place in Italy in September. Then one or two teams will be determined at the II WBSC Premier12 this November, to be hosted by four nations– Japan, Mexico, Chinese Taipei and South Korea.
With automatic qualification for hosts Japan, the rest of the spots in the six-team Olympic baseball event will be awarded at the Americas Olympic Qualifier and the Intercontinental Qualifier in 2020.