The Cuban under-23 baseball team to the third world competition of the category organized by Mexico, from the coming September 23rd, needs a place in the medal table to keep the country among the first in the ranking of this sport.
Cuba, after its poor result in the Olympic qualifying round for Tokyo 2020, fell to 11th place in the international ranks, its worst historical location that deprived it of attending a tournament of the Five Hoops in this sport, after being present in the five previous.
This will be the first time that Cuba competes in a world competition for these ages and it will do so in group A based in the Yaquis stadium, in the city of Obregón, in a difficult group since the current world champion, Mexico, also appears , as well as the Dominican Republic, Chinese Taipei, the Czech Republic and Germany.
The other group will have activities in Hermosillo, also with six teams in their qualifying stage: Venezuela, Colombia, South Korea, Nicaragua, Panama and the Netherlands. Three teams will classify from each key, those who will go to the so-called Super Round and from this, those who discuss the medals will emerge.
At the beginning we mentioned that the Cuban team needs a good location since this U-23 World Cup fair of the World Baseball and Softball Confederation , grants points for the ranking by countries. Winning the competition would be the ideal thing, or staying in the top four places, as it would improve the 11th position it currently occupies and give our elite team the possibility of attending the strong Premier 12th competition, of the highest level, which will take place the next year.
In this sub-23 competition, some countries appear above Cuba in the mentioned list of the best. These are the cases of South Korea, currently in an enviable position two; Chinese Taipei, in third place; Mexico, in the fifth; Dominican Republic, in the sixth; Holland, in the eighth and Venezuela, in the tenth.
Also among the attendees are Panama that lurks in thirteenth place; Nicaragua, in the fourteenth; Colombia, in the 15th; the Czech Republic, in 16 and Germany, in 18, all with aspirations to achieve a leap in the table made by the World Baseball and Softball Confederation .
These U-23 World Cups began in 2016 in Monterrey, Mexico, where Japan, Australia and South Korea occupied the top three positions; two years later the Colombian city of Barranquilla hosted the second version in which Mexico prevailed, escorted by Japan and Venezuela. It is striking that a baseball power such as the United States, occupying the fourth position in the world ranking, has not attended these contests.
Cuba began its national championships in this category in 2014, which continued until 2019 and the last two could not be held due to the epidemiological situation caused by Covid-19.
The winning provinces in these six years are: Artemisa, (2014); Havana, (2015); Santiago de Cuba, (2016); Santiago de Cuba, (2017); Isla de la Juventud, (2018) and Sancti Spiritus, (2019).
.Original by Francisco Soriano.