After his team earned an Olympic berth, Hong Yi-zhong, head coach of Chinese Taipei's baseball team, shifted his focus to the Taiwan Major League (TML). From this venue he'll choose the most outstanding players to form a team that can compete in the upcoming Beijing Olympic Games, the Central News Agency from Taiwan reported.
Hong revealed that he had worried about his pitcher's ability before the qualifying tournament. It turned out that the pitcher was just in fantastic form at that moment, thus helping the Chinese Taipei baseball team to qualify for the Olympic Games.
"I know we weren't chosen as a favorite for the qualifying tournament, when 8 teams competed for 3 berths, and in fact our players just squeezed in. Nevertheless I feel that we have a good chance to win in the Olympic Games despite the fact that we're not as strong as some powerhouse teams like Japan, America and Cuba. But you know: the ball is round and that means anything is possible, especially in the knockout phase," Hong noted.
He added that currently his top priority is picking a winning squad. He said that he'd pay attention to players in the major leagues and especially those playing in Japan and America. "I will choose my players according to their most recent stats; I don't care if he's a rookie or an old timer," Hong said.
(China.org.cn by Xiang Bin, May 27, 2008)