SA, NEW CONTINENTAL BASEBALL5 STARS
Updated: May 29, 2022
Memories were made and history was written this past week at the Baseball5 African Championships which came to a close in Tanzania with South Africa claiming the first-ever continental title of African Baseball5 Champions and qualifying to the inaugural Baseball5 World Cup Championships.
Kenya swept the semifinal series against Uganda in a 2-0 win while South Africa defeated Tunisia, 2-1, sending both teams into the championship series and qualifying the two nations into the World Cup.
The championships which were the first of their kind in Africa attracted over 100 athletes from 9 countries across the African continent.
World Baseball and Softball Confederation (WBSC) Treasurer Angelo Vicini added that it was historical to see an African qualifier to the World Cup
"Africa has always faced challenges because of the lack of dedicated baseball/softball venues. Baseball5 offers a great opportunity to the National Federations. I think Africa can compete on the Baseball5 World Stage, and this will get more attention from the Olympic Committees and the local governments."
And the Zambian Baseball5Team whose hopes of bagging the African title were shuttered by Uganda in the quarter finals to a 11-1, 4-1 series managed to put up a good fight in the competition and ranked 6th overall.
This was the first time that the Zambia Baseball and Softball Association ( ZBSA) was sending a national team to participate at an international event.
For association Vice President, Andrew Zulu the competition was an eye opener for the team as it prepares for more local and International competitions ahead.
Mr. Zulu said despite not getting the title he was impressed with the performance and team spirit exhibited by the first national baseball5 team and is hopeful that the sport will tremendously develop soon.
"For us as Zambia, we are proud because the experience will help us to work on ourselves and do better as we prepare the Athletes for Youth Olympic Games in 2026"
He has thanked the National Olympic Committee of Zambia, National Sports Council and other sponsors who helped the team prepare for the games.
He has since called upon young people in Zambia to keep themselves productive by joining sports such as Baseball5.
Meanwhile, World Baseball and Softball Confederation (WSBC) President Riccardo Fraccari who graced the event expressed delight with the performance of all the Athletes.
In a short interview with the NOCZ media team, Mr. Riccardo expressed confidence in the African players.
"I expect for sure that Africa will be on top ranking among the countries playing baseball5 in the World," he remarked.
Baseball5 will also make it's first debut at the Dakar 2026 Youth Olympic Games.
Five National Teams out of 12 have qualified for the WBSC Baseball5 World Cup, scheduled this fall in Mexico.
Africa (2) Kenya, South Africa
Europe (2) France, Lithuania
Host Nation (1) Mexico
Asia will qualify three teams through the inaugural Baseball5 Asia Cup.