Four of the six nations qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are set to compete in the Asia Pacific Cup at Blacktown International Sportspark from 30 January – 2 February, 2020.
The Travelodge Aussie Spirit will be joined by Mexico and Italy after they too were successful in their respectful WBSC Olympic Qualifiers, while the 2020 Games host nation and World Number Two, Japan, again make the trip Down Under.
A second Australian team, Chinese Taipei and New Zealand complete the field set to compete in Blacktown.
Australia were the final team to qualify for the Olympics with softball to be played from 22-28 July at Yokohama and Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadiums.
The Australians were dominant winning all five games in their Qualifier, scoring 37 runs and allowing only four against, batting at an impressive average of .400 as a team, and perfect defensively with no errors committed in the field.
Only two Olympic nations, Canada and the United States of America, will be missing in the highly anticipated tournament.
Travelodge Aussie Spirit Head Coach Laing Harrow says the opportunity to play against the Olympic nations will be invaluable as Australia attempts to win a fifth Medal come July.
“It’ll give us a pretty good reading early on where we’re at against these countries, and then allow us to make adjustments and improvements where we’ll need to or where we get exposed,” said Harrow.
“I’m just a big believer in getting ball games under our belt and if we can play against some of the best in the world, we should be in pretty good stead for the Olympics.”
Olympic hosts Japan, the number two ranked softball country in the world, will again use the Asia Pacific Cup to launch their summer training camp and Harrow says they’ll no doubt be deserved tournament favourites.
“Usually they’ll bring their best players over, but they don’t necessarily play them all the time, because they’ll generally continue on to the U.S. for more games.
“I’m sure at times, we’ll see the best of Japan, they’ve got so much talent over there they could send a few teams over.”
Softball Australia Chief Executive Officer David Pryles said sports fans should be very excited to see the majority of the Olympic field right in their own backyard.
“This will be the biggest iteration of the Asia Pacific Cup since it’s inception with the Olympics just around the corner,” said Pryles.
“Thanks to the governing bodies from Mexico, Italy, Japan, Chinese Taipei and New Zealand, for choosing to start their year here in Australia.
“We also look forward to working with Softball NSW to deliver another great week of international softball competition.”
Australia will have the added benefit of fielding two teams against elite competition, they will be selected following the Open Women’s National Championship held at Mirrabooka International Softball Stadium in Western Australia from 4 – 10 January, 2020.
The Asia Pacific Cup will be immediately followed by the Summer Slam – Fully Loaded Softball from 3 – 5 February, 2020 at Blacktown International Sportspark.
The Summer Slam - Fully Loaded Softball is an exciting, fast-paced take on the traditional game with only three innings, shorter fences and loaded bases for every inning. Six teams made up of international softball stars compete over three days with a winner crowned on the final day.
Tickets for both events are available for purchase now via Humanitix.
To purchase tickets to the Asia Pacific Cup, please visit www.humanitix.com.au/2020-asia-pacific-cup.
To purchase tickets to the Summer Slam – Fully Loaded Softball, please visit www.humanitix.com.au/2020-
Tickets start from just $5 with children aged 18-and-under admitted for free.
For an editorial image from the 2019 Asia Pacific Cup, please click here. Please credit Softball Australia.
Footage/highlights from Australia's final Olympic qualifier game against China available here.
Media wishing to interview a Travelodge Aussie Spirit player/official are asked to contact Softball Australia Communications and Marketing Manager Jack Lucas directly e: firstname.lastname@example.org m: 0419 298 172