KBO committed to S. Korean National Team success at Premier12™

23/05/2015

SEOUL — The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) League, South Korea’s top professional sports league, has declared the league’s full support of the South Korean National Team at the new Premier12 championship, which will unite the twelve highest-ranked countries in the world for an all-out global battle this November.

SEOUL — The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) League, South Korea’s top professional sports league, has declared the league’s full support of the South Korean National Team at the new Premier12 championship, which will unite the twelve highest-ranked countries in the world for an all-out global battle this November.

Major announcements on Premier12 were made at a press conference on Wednesday, May 20 in Seoul, which was held jointly by the world governing body, World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), and KBO, which is a Member of WBSC.

“The KBO takes great pride in sending a National Team to Premier12 that is composed of the best players in the country,” said Kim In-sik, KBO official and former S. Korean National Team manager.

“We should expect and fully encourage the other Premier12 nations and leagues to do the same,” Kim continued.

“The National Team is a source of pride for our entire country, and we take it very seriously and need to honour this responsibility,” Kim underlined.

WBSC also split the world’s twelve superpowers into two groupsfrom Seoul, and in a surprise announcement, WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari also revealed that arch-rivals — No. 1 Japan and No. 8 South Korea — would collide in the Premier12’s historic opener on November 8th at the Sapporo Dome, which has been added to the line-up of flagship venues for the 2015 Premier12.

Reacting to South Korea’s placement among Japan, No. 2 United States, No. 6 Dominican Republic, No. 10 Venezuela and No. 12 Mexico in Group B for the opening-round of the 2015 Premier12, Kim said:

“They’re all dangerous teams, and that’s why Premier12 will be unique from a management perspective, from a player’s perspective and certainly from the fan’s perspective.”

But Kim confidently finished, “We are prepared to win the championship.”

Boost for a return at the 2020 Games

With the IOC and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games organisers evaluating the addition of new events for the 2020 sports programme, and a final decision by the IOC to take place ahead of the Rio 2016 games next August, the 2000 S. Korean Olympic Baseball coach said:

“I’m confident that baseball can be an Olympic sport again through [the Premier12].”

Baseball and softball’s global stakeholders hope the Premier12 world stage will help showcase the sport’s continued globalisation and growing popularity among National Team competitons, which is the format that would be featured at the Olympics.

WBSC leadership has said the 2019 Premier12 would serve as an Olympic qualifier, if baseball and softball earn the vote for a return at the 2020 Games.

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