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Thursday, March 23, 2006

World Baseball Classic

ワールド ベースボール クラシク (WBC)

The Japanese media is still humming with national pride following Japan's win in the inaugural World Baseball Classic at Petco Park in San Diego on Monday night (Tuesday afternoon Japan time).

Chunichi Sports - Sekai Ichi - World No.1

Gushing editorials sing the praises of the victorious players and team coach Sadaharu Oh, after Japan's exciting 10-6 triumph against Cuba in the final. The Japanese government plans to honor the players for their contributions to sport and for making the general public feel a little better about themselves after a disappointing Winter Olympics, when Japan won only one medal (albeit gold in women's figure skating).

Expectations have risen so high following Japan's unexpected win, that national soccer coach Zico has had to downplay his team's chances of doing something similar at this summer's World Cup in Germany.

Chunichi Sports - Japan's winning baseball team give it the finger

The are high hopes that Japan's win in California will boost interest in the domestic game. Baseball has been in the doldrums recently with teams forced into bankruptcy and amalgamation, a resulting players' strike and declining attendances and TV audiences.

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