#KUinTAIWAN: Championship officially opened
CHIAYI, Taiwan – The city of Chiayi and the International University Sports Federation’s (FISU) welcomed 176 student-athletes and support staffs from eight countries at the official opening of the Sixth Worlds University Baseball Championships Thursday evening (Taiwan time).
Mayor Twu Shiing-jer of Chiayi City, Taiwan, welcomed the countries to join in the rich history Chiayi City has with the game of baseball.
“Chiayi City has a rich history of baseball dating back over 100 years, and we are proud to host this year’s championship at the first baseball field in Taiwan, Chiayi City Field,” Shiing-jer said. “We hope you enjoy the games, and our city, and you are all welcomed back any time.”
Kansas enjoyed a night of Taiwanese cultural experiences . A native tribe performed a special dance to bid good fortunes on the games. A local group then performed a drum ensemble, before the crowd was serenated by ocarinas played by a local grade school.
The cultural performances coincided with authentic Taiwanese dishes served throughout the evening, giving the Jayhawks a new perspective during their international journey.
“This is a once in a lifetime experience for most of our players,” head coach Ritch Price said. “Being able to experience baseball and different cultures while representing our country and great university – it is a true honor.”
Kansas opens up competition against Hong Kong at 8 p.m. (CT) on July 5. The second game of pool play takes place July 8 at 12 a.m. (CT) against Japan, with Russia to follow on July 9, also at 12 a.m. (CT).
The games will all be live streamed at www.livestream.com/FISU.
The United States holds more medals – three gold and two silver – in the event than any other participating country, including taking home the crown in 2004, 2006 and 2008. Japan is second on the list with four medals – two silver and two bronze – while Cuba is third with three medals – two gold and one bronze.
This trip marks the second foreign tour for the Jayhawks in less than a two-year span, as they trekked to the Dominican Republic in November of 2016.
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