Tue, 22 Jun 2021

SYDNEY, June 10 (Xinhua) -- Australia's baseball players have given up on their bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games because of insurmountable travel and quarantine logistics.

The Australians, ranked sixth in the world, have pulled out of their final qualifying tournament for the Games, resulting in the team withdrawing from the Tokyo Olympics.

Baseball Australia's chief executive Glenn Williams told local media on Wednesday that the "gut-wrenching" decision ended the Olympic aspirations of some players.

The final qualification tournament was initially scheduled to be hosted in Taiwan, China, from June 22 to 26, but was changed to Puebla in Mexico on May 29.

"The planning for Taiwan was extensive and with the late change in location and dates, those plans became obsolete," Williams said.

Williams said there were too many unanswered questions presenting significant risks after the event and in transiting back to Australia, and even if the players attended and won the qualifying event, subsequent quarantine requirements would make it impossible for them to compete at the Tokyo Games, which start on 23 July.

Williams noted that the complexity of moving such a large group through two countries with limited flight availability presented a real risk of members being stranded overseas and requiring medical treatment.

"We worked through multiple options and scenarios but the logistical challenges of providing a safe environment for the group were insurmountable," Williams said.

Australia's Olympic Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman said he understood the reasoning behind the decision. "I can only express sympathy for the team in these very challenging circumstances ... As difficult as the decision may have been, we understand the need to place athletes' health at the forefront, particularly given the complexity our baseballers faced."

More Taiwan News

Access More

Sign up for Taiwan's News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!