Japanese softball star Eri Yamada named World Games Athlete of August 2020

Japanese softball star Eri Yamada named World Games Athlete of August 2020
Yamada is one of the most renowned softball players in the world, winner of two Olympic medals and a pair of WBSC World Championships.

Japanese women’s softball national team captain Eri Yamada was named the World Games Athlete of August 2020. It was officially announced by the International World Games Association (IWGA) today. Japan will be one of eight teams to participate in The World Games’ next edition in 2022.

Yamada has won two Olympic medals, a bronze in Athens 2004 and a historic gold in Beijing 2008. She aims to win a third Olympic medal next year, at the Tokyo 2020 Games. She is also a two-time WBSC World Championship winner and one of the most iconic softball players in recent history.

Softball will be played at the 2022 World Games in Birmingham, Alabama. World No. 1 USA (host), No. 2 Japan, No. 3 Canada, No. 5 Mexico, No. 6 Chinese Taipei, No. 7 China, No. 8 Australia, and the winner of the European Championship 2020 will participate in the eight-team competition in Birmingham 2022.

The WBSC will recognise the 2022 World Games as the top women’s international softball competition for 2022, with the winning team named world champion, following the postponement of the 2021 WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup to 2023.

Softball, one of the founding sports of the World Games, was contested at the maiden edition in Santa Clara, California, in 1981 and London 1985. USA claimed the gold medal at the first two editions of the Games. In addition, softball was played at the World Games in Cali 2013 as an invitational sport, where Cuba earned the gold medal.

The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the IWGA and has the blessing of the International Olympic Committee. The 11th edition of the World Games will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, from 7-17 July 2022. Approximately 3,600 athletes from over 30 sports and 100 countries will take part in the next World Games.