USA Softball announced the selection of Iwakuni, Japan as the host of the USA Softball Women’s National Team pre-Olympic training camp. Teaming up with the city of Iwakuni and Marine Corp Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni, this partnership will provide support and assistance to the National Team in their preparation for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Alongside Mayor of Iwakuni, Yoshihiko Fukuda, Principal Officer of U.S. Consulate in Fukuoka, Joy Michiko Sakurai, and MCAS Iwakuni Commanding Officer Richard Fuerst welcomed USA Softball President John Gouveia and Director of National Teams Chris Sebren to share the announcement at a ceremony celebrating the partnership.
“USA Softball is honored to return to Iwakuni for our pre-Olympic training,” said USA Softball Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Craig Cress. “The hospitality and training facilities provided to the 2018 World Championship delegation were second-to-none. It is crucial to have the opportunity to acclimate to the weather and time difference while ensuring a high-level training environment for our athletes prior to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, and we are confident that Iwakuni will once again step up to the plate next summer.”
Previously, the City of Iwakuni and MCAS Iwakuni hosted the USA National Team in July 2018 prior to the WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship in Chiba, Japan. The six-day training camp provided the squad the opportunity to conduct rigorous workouts and practices, before going on to win the World Championship and qualify for the Olympic Games.
The City of Iwakuni is located 436 miles from Tokyo and houses the Atago Sports Complex, which will serve as the site for the training camp.
USA, along with Japan (host of the Games), are the only two teams qualified for the six-team softball competition in Tokyo 2020. The other four competitor nations will advance from the three WBSC Softball Olympic Qualifiers to be held this year. The winner of the Africa/Europe Softball Olympic Qualifier (Utrecht, the Netherlands, 23-27 July) and the Asia/Oceania Softball Olympic Qualifier (Shanghai, China, 24-29 September) will earn their spots in the Olympic Games. Finally, the top two teams from the Americas Softball Olympic Qualifier (Surrey, Canada, 25 August to 1 September) will complete the field of teams in Tokyo.