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  • #61
    Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal still unsure of playing in Tokyo Olympics

    Rafael Nadal has added his voice to the chorus of tennis players expressing doubts about either their presence at the Olympic Games this summer or whether the event should be held under current circumstances.

    “Honestly, I can’t give you a clear answer because I don’t know,” Nadal said at the Italian Open in Rome. “I don’t know my calendar. In a normal world I will never see about missing the Olympics, of course. There is no doubt about that. Everybody knows how important it has been for me to always play in the Olympics.

    “I normally know my schedule almost 100% since the first of January till the end of the season. This year is something a little bit different, no? We need to be flexible. We need to adapt about the things that are happening.”

    Serena Williams, who will turn 40 two months after the Games, has already expressed her own reservations about going to Tokyo. Her doubts stem primarily from the possibility of not being able to travel with her three-year-old daughter, Olympia.

    “I haven’t spent 24 hours without her, so that kind of answers the question itself. We’re best friends,” said Williams, who has won four Olympic gold medals. “I think there are other reasons. I haven’t really thought much about Tokyo, because it was supposed to be last year and now it’s this year, and then there is this pandemic and there is so much to think about. Then there are the grand slams. It’s just a lot. So I have really been taking it one day at a time to a fault, and I definitely need to figure out my next moves.”

    The two leading Japanese players both revealed conflicted emotions about whether the event should go ahead: “I want the Olympics to happen, because I’m an athlete and that’s sort of what I have been waiting for my entire life,” said a recently vaccinated Naomi Osaka.

    “But I think that there is so much important stuff going on, and especially the past year, I think a lot of unexpected things have happened. For me, I feel like if it’s putting people at risk and if it’s making people very uncomfortable, then it definitely should be a discussion, which I think it is as of right now.”

    Now a four-time grand slam title champion, Osaka is one of the faces of the Tokyo Olympics and her words were echoed by the former No 4 Kei Nishikori, who expressed doubts about whether the Olympic village would be able to contain the virus: “It’s tough to really say right now. I think they should really hold [the decision] right now, and they should decide it like before. If it’s now, I think it’s really tough.”

    Andy Murray and Liam Broady received a welcome slice of luck as they were granted a late entry into the doubles main draw after withdrawals. Murray had only travelled to Rome in order to build his level by training with top opposition including Novak Djokovic. Britain’s Cameron Norrie, a recent finalist in Estoril, continued his strong form with a 6-4, 6-4 win against Roberto Carballés Baena.:

    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


    • #62
      U.S. swimmer Caeleb Dressel breaks two world records in 40 minutes

      American swimmer Caeleb Dressel set a pair of short-course world records at the International Swimming League final in Budapest, Hungary, this weekend. The 24-year-old Florida native broke records in the butterfly and freestyle in just 40 minutes.

      Expected to be one of the top stars at next summer's Tokyo Olympics, Dressel became the first swimmer to eclipse 48 seconds in the 100-meter butterfly, touching with a time of 47.78.

      About 40 minutes later, Dressel took won the 50 freestyle in 20.16, eclipsing his own short-course record by 0.08.

      "It was a really exciting day, and I'm so pleased with the times," Dressel told BBC News after breaking the pair of records. "It's like an amusement park for swimmers, and I'm loving it at the ISL this season, but we want to win this as a team -- that's the end goal."

      In the 100 fly, Dressel broke the mark of 48.08 set by South Africa's Chad Le Clos at 2016 Short Course World Championships.

      Le Clos finished second in Saturday's race at Duna Arena in 48.45.: -

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      • #63
        Skateboarding at the Tokyo Olympics: What you need to know

        Skateboarding makes its debut at the Tokyo Olympics but it might not be the style of skateboarding you remember from events like the X Games.

        And much like climbing, which is also appearing in the Olympics for the first time in 2021, its inclusion has divided the community. Some have expressed gratitude and excitement at the idea that skateboarding will get more exposure as a sport, while others worry that the Olympics will damage the culture and lifestyle that accompany it.

        What will the event be like?

        Skateboarding at the Olympics features two disciplines: park and street.

        The park competition will take place on a hollowed-out course featuring a complex series of twists and turns. Park courses resemble large bowls with steep sides, nearly vertical at the top. Skaters send themselves to dizzying heights, performing jaw-dropping spins and tricks midair, and then gracefully bring themselves back down to the bowl to do it all over again on the other side.

        The street competition features a straight course with stairs, handrails, benches, walls and slopes to mimic a real street. This kind of skateboarding is characterized by riding along curbs and rails, leaping into the air without using hands, and that familiar grind of board on metal.

        Olympic skateboarders will experience at least some of the creative freedom they get in their home parks and streets: They're free to choose which parts of the course to cover and, of course, which tricks to perform. Also, in an attempt to maintain the feel of the sport, music will accompany each rider.

        Only one athlete rides at a time, and competitors get three timed runs to post their best score.

        How will athletes be judged?

        Judges will score athletes based on speed, difficulty, originality, timing, stability and the overall flow of the performance. One important skill judges will be looking for is the ability to seem suspended in midair.:


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        • #64
          Simone Biles becomes first woman to land Yurchenko double pike in competition

          Defending world champion gymnast Simone Biles became the first woman in history to land the Yurchenko double pike in a competition, a move historically performed only by men.

          Driving the news: At the GK U.S. Classic in Indianapolis, Biles executed the move with near perfection: first a roundoff onto the springboard, then a back handspring onto the vaulting table, followed by a spiked double backflip into the air and to the floor.

          "I was just thinking, 'Do it like training. Don't try to like overdo anything,'" she said afterward, according to CNN, "because I have a tendency as soon as I raise my hand to kind of overpower things, and I did a little bit, but at least I was on my feet. It's a new vault and I'm proud of how today went."

          The New York Time wrote the move is "considered so perilous and challenging that no other woman has attempted it in competition, and it is unlikely that any woman in the world is even training to give it a try."

          The big picture: Biles, 24, is a four-time Olympic gold medalist. This weekend, she successfully defended her GK U.S. Classic all-around title in her first competition in more than a year and a half.

          She plans to take her new vault to the Tokyo Olympics this summer, per Washington Post.: -

          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


          • #65
            Cuban baseball star César Prieto defects to U.S.

            Cuban baseball player César Prieto, a highly touted 22-year-old infielder, ditched the Cuban national team Wednesday and defected to the United States.

            Prieto and his then-teammates arrived in Florida on Wednesday to compete in an Olympic qualifying tournament.

            Hours after the team’s arrival, the Cuban Baseball Federation released a statement confirming Prieto’s departure. The player hopped in a car outside the team hotel almost immediately after their bus arrived, according to baseball journalist Francys Romero.

            Because of the frosty diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba, the easiest way for Cuban players to enter Major League Baseball is by sneaking away from their home country. Jose Abreu, the 2020 American League MVP, defected in 2013.

            In his most recent season in the Cuban league, Prieto hit .403 with seven home runs in 74 games.

            The Cuban national team is in Florida to play an Olympic qualifying tournament against the U.S., Canada, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Colombia. Only one team will qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. Cuba is one of the favorites.:

            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


            • #66
              Scientists: Canceling Tokyo Olympics "may be the safest option"

              With less than two months until the Tokyo Olympics' opening ceremony, scientists are warning that "canceling the games may be the safest option," according to a paper published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

              Why it matters: As Japan anticipates 20,000 athletes and support staff from 200 different countries, the country remains in a state of emergency with nearly 70,000 active cases and only 5% of the population vaccinated, the lowest rate within OECD countries.

              Driving the news: The authors analyzed the International Olympic Committee's COVID-19 guidelines, noting a lack of involvement from national player associations and "no plan B in the event of an outbreak."

              IOC's plan emphasizes unsuccessful mitigation measures like temperature checks and contact tracing apps that are "often ineffective," the authors write, in addition to several other missing aspects public health officials have deemed necessary:

              There is no safety guidance in risk levels associated with outdoor and indoor sporting events or even on high-contact and or low-contact sports.
              Players are not provided masks by IOC and must bring their own.
              IOC provides "insufficient detail" on testing frequency and hotel isolation as well as limited contact tracing.
              Athletes have limited insurance coverage if they contract COVID-19 during their training and competition periods, an oversight for higher risk populations like Paralympic athletes and staff.
              Yes, but: Despite Pfizer and BioNTechoffering to donate vaccine doses for athletes, the shots don't serve as a guarantee all athletes will be vaccinated in time or even choose to be vaccinated for "worries about the effects of vaccination on their performance" or ethical concerns about being prioritized ahead of more vulnerable populations.

              But, but, but: The authors recognized the intangible value of the games "at a time of global disconnect ... for us to connect safely, we believe urgent action is needed for these Olympic Games to proceed."

              What's next: The authors request the World Health Organization forms an emergency committee to advise a better risk-management approach as it did during the 2016 public health emergency surrounding the Zika virus in Brazil.:

              IOC VP says Tokyo Olympics will begin even under state of emergency

              The Tokyo Olympics will begin in just over two months even if the city or other parts of Japan are under a COVID-19 state of emergency, International Olympic Committee Vice President John Coates said during a news conference Friday, according to AP.

              Why it matters: The Games have already been postponed once, and Japan's latest coronavirus surge has pushed parts of the country's health system to a breaking point.

              Context: The Tokyo Medical Practitioners Association — a group comprised of about 6,000 doctors — has called for the Games to be canceled due to the recent upsurge of cases in Japan, which has struggled with its vaccine rollout.
              • The group's main concern is that Japan's health system may not be able to accommodate the international teams' possible medical needs because it may have to respond to new cases.

              they're saying: “The advice we have from the WHO (World Health Organization) and all other scientific and medial advice that we have is that — all the measures we have outlined, all of those measures that we are undertaking are satisfactory and will ensure a safe and secure games in terms of health,” Coates said, according to AP.
              • "And that’s the case whether there is a state of emergency or not," he added.
              • “If it doesn’t then our position is that we have to make sure that we get on with our job. And our job is to ensure these games are safe for all the participants and all the people of Japan.”

              The big picture: 40 towns that had registered to host athletes have abandoned those plans, and 59.7% of people in Japan think the Olympics should be canceled, according to a recent poll.
              • Japan's abnormally low vaccination rate likely stems from a cultural barrier that has slowed the process from the start, as well as a reliance on foreign supply of vaccines.

              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


              • #67
                Tokyo Olympics: local fans may need to show vaccination proof or negative Covid test

                Sports fans in Japan could be allowed to attend Olympic events in Tokyo this summer if they have proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test, a newspaper reported on Monday.

                While many athletes are expected to have been fully vaccinated by late July, poor planning and staff shortages mean most Japanese citizens will still be waiting for a jab when the Olympics begin in less than two months’ time.

                Having decided to ban foreign spectators, local organisers are pinning their hopes on a limited number of Japanese sports fans creating a semblance of atmosphere at venues that would otherwise be empty.

                The report in the Yomiuri Shimbun came as another poll challenged predictions by Olympic officials that public opposition to the Games would melt away as the 23 July opening ceremony draws closer.

                A poll in the Nikkei business newspaper found that 62% of respondents thought the Olympics should be cancelled or postponed, while 33% said they should go ahead with fewer or no spectators.

                The IOC has ruled out another delay, citing an already-packed sporting calendar in 2022.

                The chief cabinet secretary, Katsunobu Kato, told reporters he was not aware that any agreement had been reached on domestic spectators.

                “To make the Games a success, it is necessary to take into account the feelings of the people,” Kato said, adding that organisers would ensure infection prevention measures were in place to stage the event safely.

                Organisers have said a decision on domestic fans will be announced next month, most likely after the latest round of emergency restrictions in Tokyo and other areas ends on 20 June.

                The prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, who faces criticism of the government’s vaccine rollout and his silence in the face of controversial remarks by International Olympic CommitteeIOC) officials, is thought to favour allowing Japanese citizens to attend events.

                When the latest state of emergency was declared in Tokyo and other areas in late April, officials requested that sports and other large events be held behind closed doors. The advice has since been relaxed to allow up to 5,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity.

                Government officials have pointed to baseball and football matches that have passed off safely with limited numbers of people in attendance.

                “The discussion about having no spectators is over, and now the main point under consideration is how many we can allow in,” an unnamed official told the Kyodo news agency earlier this month.

                The Yomiuri Shimbun report sparked anger on social media, where users questioned the wisdom of pushing ahead with the Games during the pandemic, and at a time when Japan is struggling to make significant dents in its daily caseload during the latest state of emergency.

                The term “negative test certificate” was trending on Twitter in Japan, generating more than 26,000 tweets by Monday afternoon.

                “If you can’t eat, cheer, or do high-fives, what’s the point in paying for a ticket and an expensive test?” asked a Twitter user – in reference to other proposed safety measures – while others questioned the accuracy of Covid-19 tests.

                While the pace of new infections has fallen in Tokyo, the number of Covid-19 patients in critical condition across Japan has reached record levels in recent days.

                There has been criticism, too, of senior IOC officials’ response to public concerns that the Games – which will involve about 90,000 athletes, officials, journalists, sponsors and support staff – could trigger another virus outbreak in Japan and place further pressure on the country’s health services.

                John Coates, an IOC vice-president who is overseeing preparations, recently said Tokyo 2020 would go ahead even if the host city and other areas were covered by emergency coronavirus measures.

                On Friday, Dick Pound, a senior IOC official, said that “barring Armageddon”, the Games would go ahead.

                Last week, the president of the organising committee, Seiko Hashimoto, suggested that a ban on local fans had not been ruled out.

                “There are many people who are saying that for the Olympic Games we have to run without spectators, although other sports are accepting them,” Hashimoto said. “So we need to keep that in mind. We need to avoid that the local medical services are affected. We need to take those things into consideration before agreeing on the spectator count.”:

                Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                • #68
                  10,000 volunteers drop out; Tokyo Olympics open in 50 days

                  TOKYO (AP) — The countdown clock for the Tokyo Olympics hit 50-days-to-go on Thursday, and the day also brought another problem for the delayed games.

                  About 10,000 of 80,000 unpaid volunteers for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have told organizers they will not participate when the games open on July 23.

                  Organizers said some dropped out because of worries about COVID-19. Few volunteers are expected to be vaccinated since most will have no contact with athletes or other key personnel.

                  Only about 2-3% of Japan’s general population has been fully vaccinated in a very slow rollout that is just now speeding up. Conversely, the IOC expects at least 80% of athletes and residents of the Olympic Village to be fully vaccinated.

                  “We have not confirmed the individual reasons,” organizers said in a statement. “In addition to concerns about the coronavirus infection, some dropped out because they found it would be difficult to actually work after checking their work shift, or due to changes in their own environment.”

                  Organizers said the loss would not affect the operations of the postponed Olympics.

                  Unpaid volunteers are a key workforce in running the Olympics and save organizers millions of dollars in salaries. Volunteers typically get a uniform, meals on the days they work, and have daily commuting costs covered. They pay their own lodging.

                  A study done for the International Olympic Committee on volunteers at the 2000 Sydney Olympics said their value was at least $60 million for 40,000 volunteers.

                  To mark 50 days, organizers unveiled the podiums, costumes and music that will be used during the medal ceremonies. Organizing committee president Seiko Hashimoto again promised the Olympics will be safe for the athletes.

                  “The Tokyo 2020 organizing committee will absolutely make sure to protect the health of the athletes,” she said.

                  Support for the Olympics continues to lag in Japan with 50-80% — depending how the question is phrased — saying the games should not open on July 23.

                  Tokyo is officially spending $15.4 billion to organize the Olympics, and several government audits say it’s much more. All but $6.7 billion is public money. The IOC’s contribution is about $1.5 billion.

                  Japan has attributed just over 13,000 deaths to COVID-19, far lower than most comparable countries, but higher than many Asian neighbors.

                  On Thursday, the Japanese soccer association said a member of the Ghana team had tested positive upon arrival in Tokyo. The player was separated from the team and placed in quarantine.

                  Earlier in the week, soccer players from Jamaica were unable to go to Japan because of issues with coronavirus testing. They were to have played the Japanese national team in a friendly.:

                  Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                  • #69
                    Faster, higher, sicker: Japan’s Olympic fears

                    FIVE-RING CIRCUS — Seven weeks before the start ofthe Tokyo Summer Olympics, organizers insist the games are “100 percent” going ahead. The venues and medal podiums are ready, the official costumes and theme music havebeen launched. But a lot of Covid caveats remain.

                    As America gets ready for a summer of vaccinatedpartying, Japanese officials face a different, more daunting set of numbers.

                    Tokyo is experiencing around 500 new Covid cases per day this week, roughly double the number in New York, and with the added problem that only 3 percent of the Japanese population is vaccinated.

                    With Japan still likely to be completing vaccination of its over-65s as the curtain rises for the Olympic opening ceremony on July 23, Tokyo remains under an extended state of emergency. The Tokyo Medical Practitioners Association has called for the Games to be canceled.

                    Only 17 percent of Japanese adults want the Olympics to go ahead in July, according to a poll completed this week by Morning Consult. Ten thousand volunteers have quit, and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s approval rating is down to 27 percent approval versus 62 percent disapproval.

                    The International Olympic Committee rarely reacts to short-term or political considerations. The 1972 Munich Olympics continued evenas two Israeli athletes lay dead in the Olympic village and barely pausedas others were held hostage by Palestinian terrorists. When nine athletes were killed during a botched rescue operation, the Games resumed within 24 hours.

                    Olympic heavyweight Dick Pound, a former IOC vice chair, told Nightly in an interview that he’s used to thehost country’s public and newsmedia getting nervous in the run-up to the Olympics. “Remember in 1984 in L.A., the media were speculating on how many Olympic athletes are going to die during the games because of the smog,” Pound said.

                    Recent test events in Tokyo had “gone swimmingly,” he said,and “everyone thinks the necessary level of interaction with the Japanese public can be limited.” The IOC accepted Japanese requests to cut down the size of support teams coming into Japan for the Games, which will take place during school and summer holidays, meaning a less crowded Tokyo.

                    But Games organizers are attempting a logistical feat far beyond what professional sports leagues like the NBA have attempted. Altogether they expect 250,000 athletes, support staff, officials, contractors and volunteers from around the world to be mingling in Olympic venues and accommodation. NBC paid $2.38 billion for the rights to air this global competition, which is still being called Tokyo 2020.

                    Whether anyone will be able to watch the Games in person and not on NBC has yet to be determined. Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto told the BBC today that she believes “we must be prepared to have these Games without any spectators.” Pound says a final decision on that may be weeks away.

                    Athletes and other Olympic visitors would be “out of their mind” to travel without being vaccinated, Pound said, yet IOC still expects around 3,000 unvaccinated athletes and support staff to arrive in Japan. Many local volunteers will also be unvaccinated.

                    Don’t worry about the Covid risks for healthy young Olympic athletes, said Kentaro Iwata, an infectious disease specialist at Kobe University Hospital. The problem will be the other 240,000 people mixing in Olympic venues and accommodation, he said. Most won’t be vaccinated, and many will be older.

                    Despite those concerns, the Japanese government feels locked into going ahead. It was Japan who insisted on a maximum 12-month delay to the Games, Pound said. A successful Games would be a boost to Japan’s ruling party heading into an October national election.

                    Tomita Koji, Japan’s ambassador to the U.S., declined to comment on the situation.

                    A last-minute cancellation would carry its own political and patriotic risks: national humiliation just months before neighboring China hosts the Winter Olympics in Beijing. And there’s the $25 billion investment in the Games that Japan would like a return on.:

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                    • #70

                      A mix of veterans and newcomers surfaced as Olympians after eight days of competition at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Diving.

                      Their names are now inscribed on the famous wall at the Indiana University Natatorium along with other Olympians going back as far as 1984, including the legendary Greg Louganis.

                      After maintaining their fitness through the pandemic year, these divers now have a few more weeks to prepare for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

                      USA Diving qualified for 11 of the 12 quota spots available through placement at the 2019 World Championships or the World Cup in early May. Team USA will compete in every diving event in Tokyo except for synchronized 10-meter platform.

                      Team USA could have qualified a maximum of 14 athletes at the Trials, but three doubled up with berths in both synchro and individual events.:

                      Just a few……….

                      Alison Gibson

                      Hailey Hernandez

                      Delaney Schnell

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                      • #71
                        U.S. Olympic team roster: Athletes qualified for Tokyo Games

                        In all, 292 athletes have so far qualified for the U.S. Olympic team, which should be more than 500 total athletes come the July 23 Opening Ceremony.

                        Many of the qualified athletes needed to be re-confirmed by the their national governing body and U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee following the Olympic postponement to 2021. But there are no signs that any of their spots are in jeopardy.:

                        That in mind, U.S. athletes qualified so far:

                        I’ll highlight a few as the opening gets closer.


                        Caroline Marks:

                        Carissa Moore:

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                        • #72
                          Some US swimmers

                          Haley Anderson

                          Alex Walsh

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                          • #73
                            • Tokyo scraps Olympic Games public viewing sites to cut Covid-19 risks

                            Tokyo will cancel all public Olympic viewing events in an effort to reduce the risk of coronavirus infections, the Japanese capital's governor said on Saturday (June 19).

                            Having postponed the Games for a year because of the pandemic, Japan has already banned overseas spectators - in an Olympics first - while reducing the number of participants, volunteers and guests.

                            However, officials are forging ahead with hosting the Games from July 23.

                            "We have decided to cancel these live viewing sites that gather people," Ms Yuriko Koike told reporters, after meeting Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

                            "On the other hand, we will make greater use of the Web to create exciting atmospheres for the Games and to disseminate various cultural information."

                            There had been six planned viewing sites across the Japanese capital.

                            The announcement came as Ms Koike and Mr Suga prepare to meet Olympics and Paralympics officials on Monday for a key consultation during which they are expected to finalise whether to allow domestic spectators inside Games venues.

                            Politicians and the organisers are pushing for some spectators to be allowed.

                            But Japan's top infectious disease experts have urged them to consider holding the Games behind closed doors.

                            Japan has had a comparatively small virus outbreak, with just over 14,000 deaths from about 783,000 Covid-19 cases despite avoiding harsh lockdowns.

                            The government has recently accelerated vaccination efforts, with just over 6 per cent of the population fully jabbed.

                            Ms Koike said the metropolis would turn some facilities that were marked for Olympics viewing events into vaccination centres.:

                            Sha'Carri Richardson makes a STATEMENT with dominant 100m heat at trials | NBC Sports

                            5 foot 1 inch
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                            • #74
                              Simone Biles sports red, white and blue braid on Glamour cover ahead of Summer Olympics

                              Gymnastics star and U.S. Olympic medalist Simone Biles went viral this week after she appeared on the cover of Glamour magazine wearing a red, white and blue braid ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

                              Glamour chose Biles, who has a combined total of 30 Olympic and World Championship medals and is considered by many to be the greatest gymnast of all time, as the cover star for its June issue.

                              The cover image and other photos included in the profile on the athlete were shot by photographer Kennedi Carter, who told USA Today Sports in an interview published Saturday that she wanted "to do something that would reference the aesthetic of America, but not have her literally dressed in an American flag."

                              In the photos, the 24-year-old gymnast wears elegant dresses while and a braid laced with red, white and blue ribbon that runs down to the floor.: - -

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                              • #75
                                USA Baseball Qualifies for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

                                Team USA clinched its berth in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Saturday, following a 4-2 victory over Venezuela at the 2021 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Baseball Americas Qualification Event for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020 in Florida.

                                The six-team Olympic baseball tournament will begin on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 at Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium and Yokohama Baseball Stadium.

                                The U.S. joins Israel, Japan, Korea, and Mexico in the six-team field. The final spot in the Olympic baseball tournament will be decided following the WBSC Baseball Final Qualifier in Puebla, Mexico, from June 22-26.

                                “It has been our goal from the moment baseball returned to the Olympic Programme to qualify for Tokyo 2020. I am incredibly proud of this group for coming together under the tremendous leadership of Mike Scioscia and his staff and securing the United States’ spot in the Olympic Games,” said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler. “We knew this was not going to be an easy road; however, this squad personified the unyielding American spirit with grit and resilience in this tournament. We are thrilled for them, we celebrate their achievement, and we look forward to representing Team USA in the Olympic Games.”

                                Team USA finished the WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier tournament with a perfect 4-0 record, defeating Canada, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. The U.S. also faced Puerto Rico in the Opening Round, but the game was cancelled in the fourth inning due to inclement weather with the stars and stripes holding a 6-1 lead.

                                Team USA has qualified for all but one of the Olympic Games since baseball has been included on the official Olympic Programme beginning in 1992. The U.S. won a bronze medal in the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games and a gold medal in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The stars and stripes did not qualify for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games but earned a spot in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, where they won bronze.

                                Team USA also won a silver medal in 1984 (Los Angeles) and a gold medal in 1988 (Seoul) when baseball was a demonstration sport in the Olympics.:

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