The Africa East Olympic Pre Qualifier is taking off in Nairobi, Kenya, on Friday 5 April. The hosts will face Uganda and Tanzania and the two top teams will advance to the Africa Cup, thus competing for the title of Baseball African Champion and a spot in the Europe-Africa Olympic Qualifier.
Uganda is managed by Japanese coach Tanaka Katsuhisa, who has been working with the National Federation since October 2018. Pitcher Eric Katwe and first baseman Job Echon experienced some instruction in Japan.
Uganda Federation President Dennis Kasozi was quoted by Collins Muhwezi, Monitor.co.ug, saying that Uganda “wants to make history”.
Uganda’s quest for a spot in the baseball tournament of the 2020 Olympics is getting National television coverage.
The host Country Kenya is regarded as the team to beat.
Manager Dedan Kariuki will count on a young roster with just one veteran player: 33-year old pitcher William Makori.
Tanzania is heading to Nairobi with just 14 players, ten born in the new millennium. John Baraka, born on 2 February 2004, is the youngest player in the tournament.
Baseball was introduced in Tanzania by Mussa Mbugi, then an exchange student in the United States, in 2012.
The full schedule
Friday 5 April Tanzania-Kenya
Saturday 6 April Uganda-Tanzania
Sunday 7 April Kenya-Uganda
Burkina Faso and Nigeria already qualified for the Africa Cup
The third Continental Qualifier (Zone South) is to be staged in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 27, 28 and 29 April; the heavily favoured hosts will face the National Teams of Lesotho and Zimbabwe.
The Africa Cup will be played in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 1 to 5 May. The winner will be the first ever Africa Baseball Champion and will advance to the Europe-Africa Olympic Qualifier, to be staged in Parma and Bologna, Italy, from 18 to 22 September.
The winner of the tournament played in Italy will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, while the runner up will advance to the final qualifier, to be played in Chinese Taipei in early 2020.