USA Softball announced the selection of Iwakuni, Japan as the host of the USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT) pre-Olympic training camp. Teaming up with the city of Iwakuni and Marine Corp Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni, this partnership will provide support and assistance to the WNT in their preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. 

Alongside Mayor of Iwakuni, Yoshihiko Fukuda, Principal Officer of U.S. Consulate in Fukuoka, Joy Michiko Sakurai, and MCAS Iwakuni Commanding Officer Richard Fuerst welcomed USA Softball President John Gouveia and Director of National Teams Chris Sebren to share the announcement at a ceremony celebrating the partnership.

“USA Softball is honored to return to Iwakuni for our pre-Olympic training,” said USA Softball Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Craig Cress.  “The hospitality and training facilities provided to the 2018 World Championship delegation were second-to-none.  It is crucial to have the opportunity to acclimate to the weather and time difference while ensuring a high-level training environment for our athletes prior to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, and we are confident that Iwakuni will once again step up to the plate next summer."

The City of Iwakuni is located 436 miles from Tokyo and houses the Atago Sports Complex, which will serve as the site for the training camp.

“The Atago Sports Complex has been a symbol of friendship between Japan and the U.S.,” said Fukuda. “I couldn’t be prouder to be able to host Team USA again for Tokyo 2020. Iwakuni city continues to be committed to welcoming Team USA with the spirit of ‘Omotenashi’ (hospitality) and to giving all the support to help the team win the Gold Medal.”

During the team’s stay in Iwakuni, the city is also committed to offering opportunities for team members to experience the culture and traditions of Iwakuni, and to exchange with locals through softball-related events.

“All the people in Iwakuni will be prepared to welcome the team open-heartedly and to give everything they have to cheer and support Team USA,” continued Fukuda.

Previously, the City of Iwakuni and MCAS Iwakuni hosted the WNT in July 2018 prior to the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women’s World Championship in Chiba, Japan. The six-day training camp provided the squad the opportunity to conduct rigorous workouts and practices prior to the Olympic-qualifying tournament. Practices were made public for citizens of Iwakuni, service members and family at MCAS Iwakuni, while members of the WNT also participated in a local clinic for students. The U.S. ended their stay by playing a doubleheader against Japanese professional team, Toyota Red Terriers, before going on to win Gold and qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

-- Courtesy of USA Softball

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