Australia withdraws from WBSC Baseball Final Qualifier as last Olympic ticket down to three teams

Australia withdraws from WBSC Baseball Final Qualifier as last Olympic ticket down to three teams
World Nos. 8, 9 and 10 -- Venezuela, Netherlands and Dominican Republic -- will square off for the final ticket into the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Baseball Australia has made the difficult decision to pull out of the WBSC Baseball Final Qualifier, citing logistical challenges brought on by COVID-19 protocols. World No. 6 Australia would have been the top-ranked team in the final Olympic qualifier, which turns into a three-team fight for baseball's final Olympic ticket.

“Attending the Final Olympic Qualifier in a COVID world was always going to present significant challenges,” Baseball Australia Chief Executive Glenn Williams stated. “We worked through multiple options and scenarios but the logistical challenges of providing a safe environment for the group were insurmountable.”

Tournament Format

World No. 8 Venezuela, No. 9 Netherlands, and No. 10 Dominican Republic will now compete in the final qualifier from 22-26 June in Puebla, Mexico.

The three teams will start off with a round-robin, with the top finisher advancing directly into the final. The second- and third-place finishers from the round-robin will meet in a one-game playoff for a place in the final.

Tokyo 2020 – Olympic Baseball

Dominican Republic and Venezuela finished in second- and third-place at the recent Americas Olympic Qualifier to earn the place in the final qualifier, while the Netherland's finished in second-place in the September 2019 European/Africa Olympic baseball qualifier to earn their spot.

The winner in Mexico will be the sixth and final participant in the upcoming Olympic baseball tournament, joining No. 1 Japan, No. 2 USA, No. 3 Korea, No. 5 Mexico and No. 18 Israel.

The Olympic baseball tournament is guaranteed to feature five Top 10 teams from the WBSC Baseball World Rankings.

You might also be interested in:
- China out of Final Baseball Qualifier
- Chinese Taipei withdraws from Final Qualifiers