China takes 3rd in tourney

Updated: 2015-07-20 06:39


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China takes 3rd in tourney

The Chinese team shakes hands with the Australian team after they beat the latter to win third place at the 2nd Washington International Friendship Softball game on July 18 in Gaithersburg. LIU JINGYANG / FOR CHINA DAILY

China beat Australia to place third in the Washington International Friendship Softball tournament over the weekend in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

"They (the Chinese team) are a very good defensive team and very tough competition. They played really well," said Mauro Kolobaric, Australian consul and pitcher of his embassy's team.

In the first round, China lost to Korea, who took second place in the tournament. The Chinese team took an early lead, surprising the Korean team, but the Koreans got the upper hand later. The final score was 2 to 1.

The second game was a massacre, with the Chinese team beating the US 10 to 1, notable because the Chinese team didn't win one game last year.

"They are dedicated and highly skilled, I am impressed by their improvement," Kolobaric said.

The highlight of Chinese team's outing against Australia was a home run hit by Tim Zhong, a team member from MIT, which brought the Chinese lead to 3 to 1.

"We have many exceptional players this year, and some of them are members of their schools teams. I am confident that we can take the championships next year," said Hao Fu, organizer of Chinese team. "I hope our bond does not break after the tournament and we can do something more, like soccer, and volleyball."

The Chinese team was a grassroots group with team members coming from a variety of backgrounds. The Australian team, who won last year and hosted this year's event on July 18, was made up of staff, family, and friends of the Australian embassy.

Most teams were a mix of Washington-area professionals from think tanks, universities, businesses, media organizations and government agencies.

"Our generation should be more energetic and more integrated," HaoFu said. "I think we did a nice job of uniting Chinese people. It is inspiring to see so many people strive for one goal."

The tournament, which emphasizes friendship and cultural exchange, holds a six-team round robin of softball each year, followed by a barbecue at Japanese Minister Tamaki Tsukada's home.

The event was the brainchild of Hideshi Futori, a fellow at the Federation of American Scientists, according to Australian Ambassador Kim Beazley, who described the origin of the games in a letter of invitation he wrote last year.

"He thought up the idea for a grouping of Asian-Pacific sports-loving nations to get together in the spirit of international friendship and sportsmanship to advance the spirit of goodwill that exists among the countries of Australia, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and the US," Beazley said in the letter.

JingYang Liu and Andi Zhang in Washington contributed to this story.