Baseballers Chase Olympic Glory

Baseball | Published: Wed 5 March 2008

Western Australian baseball received a major shot in the arm with the announcement that five WAIS athletes and a graduate have made the Australian Baseball team to compete in the eight nation Olympic Qualifiers in Taiwan starting this week.

 

Luke Hughes, Brendan Wise, Liam Hendricks, Mark Kelly, Scott Mitchinson and graduate Ben Risenger all made the 24 man squad, which contains just five members of the 2004 team that won silver at the Athens Games.

 
 

Australia's first game is on 7 March against Germany, with the side needing to finish in the top three nations to compete in the 2008 Beijing Games. That match will be played in Taichung.

 

Australia has selected an unprecedented eight un-capped players for the qualifying tournament and will rely on youth talent to progress from the seven match round-robin format.

 

Australia, Korea and Chinese Taipei have all previously won Olympic baseball medals, and will be considered serious contenders, while two other competing nations - Canada and Mexico - consider baseball as one of their key national sports.

 

Western Australian Andy Kyle has been named as Assistant Coach to Jon Deeble.