Youth Baseball5 World Cup press conference: “The future of Baseball5 is extremely bright”

– WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari

Speaking during the official press conference ahead of the WBSC Youth Baseball5 World Cup, which starts in Ankara, Turkiye on Tuesday, President Fraccari said he was “delighted” to have 12 countries from all five continents, including three from Africa. The WBSC Youth Baseball5 World Cup trophy was also officially unveiled during the press conference.

WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari praised the hosts of the WBSC Youth Baseball5 World Cup, the Turkiye Baseball and Softball Federation for hosting the first ever age group Baseball5 World Cup and declared his excitement about the future of the WBSC’s fast growing discipline.

Speaking at the pre-tournament press conference in Ankara, Turkiye on Monday President Fraccari said: “I am very enthusiastic that WBSC World Cup has been hosted by a country like Türkiye, which has shown great interest in Baseball5. We started Baseball5 in 2017 and now that the sport is a reality and the future of Baseball5 is very bright and is proven by being featured as one of the disciplines to be featured at the Youth Dakar Olympic Game in 2026.

“I am delighted to have 12 countries from all five continents. We have three countries from Africa. I watched the African continental qualifier and was overwhelmed by the atmosphere created by the Baseball5 athletes.

“And I would like to salute the efforts of Nahit Şahin, the President of the Türkiye Baseball and Softball Federation, and wish each team good luck and success.”

Turkish Baseball Softball Federation President Nahit Sahin also welcomed the participants and added how important the tournament is for the players

”They will get the advantages of baseball’s main values of teamwork, respect, honesty and effort will be positively reflected in the lives of them.’’

The managers of the 12 teams participated in the pre-tournament press conference on Monday with some offering their key thoughts including Türkiye’s Mayide Çakaloglu Asci.

“Welcome to our country, Türkiye. We are happy to host this special edition of the Youth Baseball5 World Cup in Türkiye. And we are also proud of having 11 teams from all over the world.

“We practiced hard to be present at this tournament and we wish to win the trophy and keep it here in Türkiye,” .

“It is the first international Baseball5 tournament and we are thrilled to be here,” said Australia’s Adrian Medina Scull. “For us, it is the third tournament organised by the WBSC. All of the athletes are very excited this opportunity at the international stage.”

China coach Weipeng Liang also applauded the opportunity to participate in an international Baseball5 tournament for the firs time. “We feel very excited to be at the tournament and looking forward to leave good results.

“Baseball5 has been introduced recently in China and our team is formed by baseball players and softball players, and they go back to their original sports after this tournament. But it is truly important for us to leave good results in order to develop this urban sport.”

France is one of six teams who after participating the Baseball5 World Cup last year are now backing up again with the youth edition. “We had a great experience at the Baseball5 World Cup in Mexico last year and this year, the youth teams are more competitive than the senior teams in France,” Stephen Lesfargues said. “The players are fully ready and cannot wait for the tournament.”

  • Credit: WSBC