HAVANA._ It did not enter into the wildest dreams of the founders of the Pan-American Games that their world of continental sports would become such an increasingly transcendental cyclical forum for cultural, social and even political expression.
The Games have been traditionally exploited by some for pre-Olympic trial purposes and to showcase the host nation’s capacity to organize global multi sporting events that inevitably amount to more than mere sporting competitions.
Toronto 2015 will not be an exception. The Canadian city itself, announcements, publicity, promotion and media present a universal and ideal location –and in thestrictly sporting sense– a craving for the forthcoming conflicts between nations in a wide variety of disciplines.
In this context, Baseball, one of the most loved disciplines in this geographical region, will monopolize attention in the early stages of the Games because of the presentation of a certain novelty that may menace American hegemony more than anything to date.
This is because the Canadian city will go down in history as the first host nation to incorporate ladies baseball into the games, a premier in which the U.S., Cuban, Canadian, Puerto Rican and Venezuelan teams should shine.
With the exception of Canada, the host, all the teams qualified for their historic debut in a tournament held recently in the Dominican Republic. This is expected to be an unprecedented battle of balls and strikes, with various teams fielding male and female “rookies” in addition to the fact that the victors of both will be crowned queens and kings of the Pan-American realm.
On paper the title should be fought out between Puerto Rico, Canada, the U.S. and Cuba, all of which are also represented in the men competition, alongside Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and Colombia.
In the men´s event, the Colombian team won the South American title, the U.S. qualified directly and the Cuban, Nicaraguan and Dominican teams assured their participation through the 2014 Veracruz Centro American Games.
Consequently, in addition to the battle for overall placement on the position table, the Toronto 2015 Pan-American Games will be an attractive fight for baseball supremacy in its own right.
There is an assumption based on performance and past results that the the U.S will retain their title and that the remaining medals will go to Cuba and Canada.
These are teams also in the privileged position of being placed in the current world ranking: U.S. – second in both women‘s and men´s, Cuba– eighth and third, Canada –fourth and seventh and Puerto Rico– tenth and ninth.
However, the winners cannot be known for certain until the games have been played out between the 11thand 26th of July in the 5,000 seater Ajax Pan Am Park.
It is only at the end of the tournament that the monarchs can be crowned and reign over their Pan-American baseball kingdom for the following four years.Share on FB Share on TT