THUNDER BAY – The 2010 IBAF World Junior Baseball Championship concluded with a colourful closing ceremony at Port Arthur Stadium featuring the presentation of medals, trophies and awards to the winning teams, All-Stars and individual award winners, entertainment by local multicultural groups and remarks by local, provincial and federal dignitaries.
The action on the field wrapped up late Sunday night after over three hours of rain delay before Chinese Taipei defeated Australia by a score of 8-4. With the win Chinese Taipei, 7-1, earned their sixth medal in the last ten events but just their second gold medal in World Junior history having previously won at the 1983 tournament. The silver medal marks the first ever for Australia, who finished the tournament with a record of 5-3, and their first medal since 1989.
The host Team Canada suffered a disappointing loss in the Bronze Medal Game by a score of 8-2 to Cuba and finished the tournament with a record of 5-3. The Cubans, who also finished with a record of 5-3, captured their second straight bronze medal at this event.
Chinese Taipei All-Star third baseman Tzu Wei Lin won the most individual awards claiming Leading Hitter, Most Runs Scored, Outstanding Defensive Player, and Most Valuable Player. Team Canada was represented on the tournament All-Star team by outfielder Alexander Calbick and Designated Hitter Philip Diedrick.
The individual gold medals were presented by Minister of Health Promotion Margarett Best. The Honourable David C. Onley and her Honour Mrs. Ruth Ann Onley presented the Gold Medal Trophy to the members of Chinese Taipei.
Minister Best deemed the Championship a great success. “Congratulations to all the participants of this year’s World Junior Baseball Championship. Thanks to the players, organizers and volunteers. You have helped make this important competition of world-class baseball a truly marvelous success! The McGuinty government is pleased to welcome the world to Ontario and to support sporting events like this that allow Ontario’s athletes to compete at home.”
Speaking on behalf of the tournament organizers and the some 450 volunteers who played a significant role in the successful staging of the event, Thunder Bay International Baseball Association President Larry Hebert said, “We hit a grand slam with great baseball on the field, fantastic fan support, great support from our government and private sector sponsors and partners and a terrific and tireless effort from our volunteers, staff and consultants. Mix those ingredients together with superb weather and we had almost a perfect tournament. Our venues were great and Lakehead University was a fabulous location and home to the teams. At the opening ceremonies I promised that everyone would have one of their best baseball experiences ever and I think our host team delivered the goods!”
In other action Sunday, the United States claimed fifth with a big 18-2 win over the Netherlands, while South Korea defeated Italy 3-1 to finish in seventh place. Both games were played at Baseball Central.
A crowd of 5,000 fans cheered on both teams following the initial rain delay boosting total tournament attendance to an estimated 45,000 people over the 10-day 46-game tournament.
The Closing Ceremonies concluded with the presentation of the IBAF flag to South Korea, host nation of the 2012 World Junior Championship.
Fans can still enjoy the excitement of the Gold Medal Game broadcasted to a National television audience as the contest will be replayed on Rogers Sportsnet channels scheduled as follows:
Rogers Sportsnet Ontario – Monday August 2nd at 1:00 pm ET
Rogers Sportsnet West – Monday August 2nd at 1:30 pm ET/ 11:30am MT
Rogers Sportsnet East – Tuesday August 3rd at 1:00 pm ET