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Baseball factbox for Athens 2004

Posted: Monday July 5, 2004 10:51PM; Updated: Monday July 5, 2004 10:51PM
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ATHENS, July 6 (Reuters) -- Factbox on baseball at the August 13-29 Athens Olympics:

HISTORY

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Baseball, loosely based on the English game of rounders, developed in the United States in the early 19th century and the first professional league was formed in 1871 with nine teams.

Baseball was one of the late admissions to the Olympics, in 1992, and only amateurs were admitted, meaning the sport's biggest names who play in the north American major league cannot take part.

The first Olympic gold medal was awarded to Cuba who also won the title in 1996.

The International Baseball Federation (IBAF) was founded in 1938.

EVENTS

Eight men's teams will take part in Athens -- Japan, Taiwan, Cuba, Canada, Greece, Netherlands, Italy and Australia.

2000 CHAMPIONS

United States

OLYMPIC PROGRAMME

August 15-18 and 20-22: Preliminaries

August 24: Semi-finals

August 25: Bronze-medal match

Final

VENUE

Hellinikon Olympic Complex, in west Athens. There are two

fields; one has a capacity of 8,568 and will host preliminary games, the semi-finals and final; the other seats 4,000 and will be the venue for preliminary games only. They are Greece's first international standard baseball diamonds.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

www.baseball.ch

Copyright 2004 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.


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