Ayako Rokkaku, Baseball5 World Cup MVP, expressed excitement for the sport’s future development
According to the votes cast by her fellow coaches, Rokkaku was selected as one of the two most valuable players of the tournament, along with Cuba’s Briandy Molina, and the Best Coach of the World Cup.
Ayako Rokkaku shared with listeners of The Global Game podcast in June of this year that one of her goals was to “represent Japan in Baseball5” and assist her nation in qualifying for the first-ever WBSC Baseball5 World Cup, which took place in Mexico City’s El Zocalo this past week.
Not only did she accomplish that, but she also led her team all the way to the championship game of the first-ever WBSC Baseball World Cup, was named one of the two Most Valuable Players of the Tournament (the other being Cuba’s Briandy Molina), and was voted the Best Coach of the World Cup by her fellow coaches. Cuba’s Briandy Molina was named the other MVP of the tournament.
An extraordinary showing from a very extraordinary athlete. Along with the fact that she coached the team, the four-time WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup champion and former WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup Most Valuable Player’s impressive performance in center field, where she was the only female fielder and where one of the most difficult positions to play, included a high number of catches and plays, highlighted by the fact that she was the tournament’s MVP.
“The players from all the countries were incredible, and it just so happened that I was the one who was awarded Most Valuable Player,” Rokkaku remarked. “The quality of individual players was also quite good, so I am very looking forward to Baseball5’s continued growth in the future.”
Rokkaku, who is 31 years old, holds a certification from the WBSC as a Baseball5 teacher and is one of the four WBSC Prevention of the Manipulation of Competition Ambassadors
In addition to that, she was just just selected to serve as a WBSC Athlete Representative. Not only is she looking forward to the continued expansion of Baseball5, but she was also quite impressed with the level of competition at the very first WBSC Baseball5 World Cup, and she is already looking forward to the second iteration of the tournament.
As for the site, umpires, and DJ music, she added, “I believe that I was really glad that the historic inaugural Baseball5 World Championships were hosted in this style in this magnificent facility. It was a dramatic finale that frequently made me shiver. I had the impression that everyone had contributed to the creation of the competition. I am really appreciative of everyone and am eagerly awaiting the next publication.
When Rokkaku said on The Global Game podcast in June that “it is the first Baseball5 World Cup, I truly hope that the tournament will be interesting, her comments ring prophetic. I want to witness top athletes from other nations.
“Baseball5 was invented in Cuba, and I believe Cuban athletes to be exceptionally talented. It will be fascinating to watch how other nations will compete with them. I am eagerly anticipating this special first edition.
Rokkaku predicted Cuba as the team to beat well in advance, just like she did on the Baseball5 court. While Japan lost twice in their attempts to overcome the tournament favorites, they were incredibly competitive and left enough on the field to keep us interested in the following edition, which is scheduled to take place in 2024, to see how much the gap will have narrowed.
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