Taiwan overtakes South Korea to rank 2nd in world baseball rankings

01/21/2022 01:21 PM
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The Taiwan team after winning the U-12 Baseball World Cup 2019. CNA file photo
The Taiwan team after winning the U-12 Baseball World Cup 2019. CNA file photo

Taipei, Jan. 21 (CNA) Taiwan has overtaken South Korea and climbed back to the No. 2 spot in the World Baseball Softball Confederation's (WBSC's) world rankings for men's baseball, just one spot behind Japan, which ranks No. 1.

With the 3,321 points Taiwan has accumulated since 2018, it took second place, from South Korea, which now ranks No. 3 with 3,137 points, according to the rankings released by the world governing body for baseball and softball on Friday.

The rankings are based on the performance of a country's teams in WBSC tournaments over the past four years, with major international events given a higher weighting than minor competitions.

They do not, however, take into account the caliber of a country's professional baseball league or its players competing professionally around the world.

With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting international baseball tournaments globally, Taiwan, competing under the name Chinese Taipei, only participated in the U-23 Baseball World Cup last year.

The tournament, held from Sept. 23 to Oct. 2, saw Taiwan finish sixth place to collect 355 ranking points on top of its previous 2,966 points.

Previously, the Taiwan teams finished fifth at the flagship Premier 12 in November 2019 and took home the championship trophy at the Asian Championship in October that same year.

In other tournaments held in 2019, Taiwan's team won both the U-18 Baseball World Cup in August and U-12 Baseball World Cup in July that year.

In 2018, teams representing Taiwan participated in nine tournaments, among them the Asian Games, in which Taiwan finished third, and the U-23 Baseball World Cup, in which it finished fifth.

Taiwan's strong showing during 2019 first lifted the country to a historical high of No. 2 in the rankings in June 2021, but it fell to third place behind South Korea in August the same year.

Olympic champions Japan remains the top-ranked national baseball program with 3,752 points, while Mexico (2,722) surpassed the United States (2,445) to move into fourth place, its highest ever position in the WBSC Baseball World Rankings.

(By Yang Chi-fang and William Yen)

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