Giant on the move
China’s upset 4-1 win over Taiwan in the first round of the World Baseball Classic earlier this month was a small but important step for a team that battles for recognition and funding.
Although trounced by Japan and South Korea in earlier matches, the politically tinged match renewed China’s bragging rights over the self-ruled island, which Beijing declares as its own territory and has vowed to bring back to mainland rule, by force if necessary.
The loss was a bitter pill for Taiwan to swallow, which was also beaten by China at the Olympic Games, and has a far deeper baseball following stemming from U.S. aid and soft power flowing into the island in the decades after the Chinese civil war (1945-1949).
“We have to accept it, and the fact that China have made great steps in baseball,” said Taiwan coach Yeh Chih-Shien.
Struggling? The list runs from A for Aquatics to W for Wrestling. (Although ”aquatics” to my untrained eye seems to span a series of water sports – swimming, diving and water polo).