Australia Pacific Cup: Four Olympic softball teams in action

Australia Pacific Cup: Four Olympic softball teams in action
Tokyo-bound Japan, Mexico and Italy join the hosts Australia, who will field two teams, at the Blacktown International Sportspark, the home of softball at the Olympic Games in 2000. Chinese Taipei and New Zealand round out the list of participants.

Four of the six teams qualified for the softball tournament of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will compete in the Australia Pacific Cup, which starts on Thursday at the Blacktown International Sportspark, west of Sydney, Australia. The venue, located in Rooty Hill, hosted the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games softball tournament**.

World No. 8 Australia will be fielding two teams: Australia A and the Aussie Spirit. After the tournament Softball Australia will select 23 players that will compete under the banner of the Aussie Peppers of Minnesota in the USA National Pro Fastpitch (NPF).

The other participating national teams that are already qualified for the Olympics are Tokyo 2020 hosts and world No. 2 Japan, world No. 5 Mexico, who qualified through the Americas, and world No. 10 Italy, the winner of the Europe/Africa Qualifier. The final two participants in the Australia Pacific Cup are world No. 6 Chinese Taipei and world No. 16 New Zealand.

Australia Pacific Cup-the Schedule

Thursday 30 January

Chinese Taipei-New Zealand
Australia A-New Zealand
Chinese Taipei-Japan
Aussie Spirit-Australia A
Aussie Spirit-Italy

Friday 31 January

Australia A-Chinese Taipei
Aussie Spirit-Chinese Taipei
Australia A-Mexico
Japan-New Zealand
New Zealand-Italy
Aussie Spirit-Mexico

Saturday 1 February

Italy-Chinese Taipei
Aussie Spirit-New Zealand
Australia A-Japan
Australia A-Italy
Mexico-Chinese Taipei
New Zealand-Mexico
Aussie Spirit-Japan

Sunday 2 February-Finals

1-Sixth place-Seventh place
2-First Place-Fourth Place
3-Second Place-Third Place
4-Fifth Place-Winner 1
GRAND FINAL-Winner 2-Winner 3

World No. 1 USA and No. 3 Canada are the other two qualified countries for Tokyo 2020 but will not feature in Blacktown.

USA will begin their Olympic Games preparation on Tuesday, 4 February with a Stand Beside Her Tour, which will take the defending world champions to over 30 different locations across the US.

** The podium at the softball competition at the Sydney 200 Olympic Games was: 1) USA 2) Japan 3) Australia.