Canada Qualifies For Olympics
“Here we go again Canada, come on with me!” cried veteran infielder Stubby Clapp of Windsor, Ontario.
Canada, Taiwan and South Korea won berths in the final qualifying tournament for the Beijing Olympics on Thursday.
The teams snagged the spots by finishing in the top three of the eight-team tournament, which ends Friday.
Canada closes out the tournament with a game against Germany on Friday.
Canada just missed advancing to the gold-medal game at the 2004 Athens Olympics, losing to 8-5 to Cuba in the semifinals.
“We came so close to the gold the last time around, it’s special for the guys who were there and it’s special for the kids who are here for the first time,” said Clapp. “Got to keep it going.”
Clapp, Ryan Radmanovich of Calgary, Adam Stern of Port Stanley, Ont., Jeremy Ware of Guelph, Ont., and Mike Kusiewicz of Ottawa are the only veterans from the 2004 Olympic team playing on the current squad.
They mentored a very talented but young core.
“We definitely feel like we have some unfinished business,” said Radmanovich. “The boys really came together. To get there was our first goal, now it’s unfinished business, we want to go in there and medal.”
Nick Weglarz smacked a two-run homer in the first off South Korea’s right-handed starter Ryu Hyun-Jin as Canada headed towards taking a 3-0 lead. Canada added the winning run in the fourth.