Great Britain women’s softball team was left heartbroken after falling agonizingly short of an unexpected first Olympic Games appearance at Tokyo 2020. Fans who want to watch live action of Olympic Softball in Olympic 2020 can get Olympic Softball Tickets online.
Facing Italy in the Europe/Africa Olympic Qualifier tournament in Utrecht on Saturday Great Britain were unable to maintain the unbeaten form that had taken them to what equated to a straight shoot-out match for the Games.
Greta Cecchetti did the main damage, pitching a shutout game with 13 strikeouts and only two hits allowed as Italy ranked world No 9 three places above Great Britain and triumphed 5-0.
Yet in truth the fact the British team was even in a position to play off to punch their ticket to Tokyo where both women’s softball and baseball will make its first Olympic appearance since 2008 was remarkable in it.
Approximately 20000 people in the UK play softball a modified form of baseball played on a smaller field with a larger softer ball with the majority of the British team based in America.
Softball received only £62,500 financial support from UK Sport’s Aspiration Fund this year. Players have previously had to pay their own way, balancing international duties with jobs and studies.
We are incredibly disappointed the players are heartbroken head Coach Rachael Watkeys a former British player who won European silver and bronze in 2009 and 2011 told The Sunday Telegraph.
At the same time, we are incredibly proud because not many people thought we could do this and get this far we’ve proven a point.
It’s back to square one now in terms of funding back to family and friends’ support donations from really generous people. But like I said I’m really hopeful that we’ve set the world on notice it can have a boost for the sport and some more funding will come.
“There are various versions of this game. Any growths we can get if we can get it into schools finding variety a bit like cricket has managed to do in terms of speeding up the game using smaller facilities anything like that will be fantastic for us.”
Finishing inside the top six with a bronze medal at the recent European Championships gave Great Britain the opportunity to fight for a Tokyo spots.
Defeat on Saturday however, was compounded by the fact that the Paris 2024 Olympic Games committee voted not to include softball and baseball among their additional sports.
It is likely that organizers of the Los Angeles Games, however where the two sports are popular will put them both back on the programmer four years later.
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