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Baseball Olympic Games 2020 - Official Payoff
2020: Olympic Baseball Qualifiers - Final two teams to be confirmed in March, April
03/01/2020 2 Minute Read

2020: Olympic Baseball Qualifiers - Final two teams to be confirmed in March, April

March and April will feature two more Olympic baseball qualification tournaments - following two Olympic qualifiers in 2019 - to complete the qualification process for the baseball competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

With four teams already qualified - Japan, Israel, Korea and Mexico - the Baseball Americas Qualifier will qualify one team to Tokyo 2020 while the second and third-place finishers will compete for the last spot with Chinese Taipei, China, the Netherlands and Australia in the Baseball Final Qualifier.

Scheduled from 22 to 26 March in Arizona, USA, the Baseball Americas Qualifier will be an eight-team tournament with the winner advancing to Tokyo. Six of the teams - USA, Cuba, Venezuela, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic - obtained the right to participate by featuring in the Premier12. The other two - Colombia and Nicaragua - qualified as third and fourth place finishers at the Pan Am Games 2019.

The eight teams have been split into two groups. Group A will feature world No. 2 USA, No. 11 Puerto Rico, No. 12 the Dominican Republic and No. 15 Nicaragua. World No. 5 Cuba is the top-ranked team competing in Group B and will play against world No. 9 Venezuela, No. 10 Canada and No. 14 Colombia.

The second and third-place finishers of the Baseball Americas Qualifier will have one more chance to advance to the Olympics in the Baseball Final Qualifier, scheduled from 1 to 5 April in Taichung and Dou Liou, Chinese Taipei. They will battle for the last spot in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with world No. 4 Chinese Taipei and No. 20 China, who both qualified through the Asia Championship, the runner-up from the Europe/Africa Qualifier - world No. 8 the Netherlands, and world No. 7 Australia, the representative of the Oceania Region.

After a 12-year absence, baseball returns to the programme of the Summer Olympics with a six-team tournament to be played in Yokohama and Fukushima from 29 July to 8 August 2020. Four of the six teams have already qualified.

Japan will participate as the host nation while Israel qualified as the winner of the Europe-Africa Qualifier, played in Bologna and Parma, Italy, in September, 2019. The defending champions Korea qualified as the top team from the Asia region at the WBSC Premier12 2019 in November after finishing second behind Japan, who had already qualified. Mexico will make its debut in the Olympic baseball tournament after also qualifying through the Premier12. The Tricolores defeated USA in the playoff for the bronze medal to finish as the top nation from the Americas.

Baseball has been a medal sport in five editions of the Summer Olympics. Cuba earned gold in three of them (1992, 1996, 2004), while USA (2000) and Korea (2008) are the other two Olympic champions. Australia is the only nation outside the Americas or Asia to ever claim a medal after finishing second in 2004 to earn a silver medal. The other four silver medals went to Cuba (2000 & 2008), Chinese Taipei (1992) and Japan (1996). USA (1996 & 2008) and Japan (1992 & 2004) have won two bronze medals each. The fifth went to Korea in 2000.

The Sydney 2000 Olympic Games was the only edition featuring National Teams representing four Continents: The Americas (USA and Cuba), Asia (Korea and Japan), Europe (Italy and The Netherlands), Oceania (Australia) and Africa (South Africa). The Americas, Asia and Europe were the only Continents represented in 1992 and 2008, while Oceania had Australia playing also in 2000 and 2004.

The Americas have a record of four representatives (Cuba, USA, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic) in 1992, which is matched by Asia, who had four National Teams (Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipei and China) playing in 2008. Europe have a record three National Teams playing in 2004: The Netherlands, Greece and Italy.