Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands and Spain, along with African nations Botswana and South Africa will compete in the first Olympic softball qualifier of the year.

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today announced the full list of nations that have qualified to compete in the WBSC Softball Europe/Africa Qualification Event for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020, to be staged 23-27 July in Utrecht, Netherlands.

World No. 9 Italy, No. 10. Netherlands, No. 12 Great Britain, No. 15 Czech Republic, No. 26 France and No. 35 Spain are guaranteed to finish among the six finalists of the ongoing Women’s Softball European Championship and have thereby claimed a place in the first Olympic softball qualifier of the year.

The European Softball Championship, being played in Czech Republic and Poland, started with a field of 23 teams and the Final to crown the continental champion will be played on Saturday, 6 July.

Italy, Netherlands, Great Britain, Czech Republic, France and Spain will join the previously qualified African nations, No. 28 South Africa and No. 43 Botswana, in Utrecht.

“Congratulations to the top softball nations in Europe on advancing to the next stage of the Olympic qualification process,” said WBSC Softball Chairman, Tommy Velazquez. “You’re one step closer to realizing your Olympic dreams at Tokyo 2020. Eight great softball nations, with rich cultures and languages, will battle in Utrecht for one Olympic spot. Good luck to all of them.”

The eight-team WBSC Softball Europe/Africa Qualifier will be played at Sportpark de Paperclip in Utrecht, Netherlands. The participating nations will be drawn into two groups determined by draw, and the round robin will be played from 23-25 July. The top two National Teams in each group will advance to a Super Round (26-27 July). The top National Team in the tournament final standings will gain a berth for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The live draw for the WBSC Softball Europe/Africa Qualifier will be conducted at the WBSC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 10 July.

Photo: Grega Valancic / ESF

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