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Pingtan likely to hold cross-Straits softball match

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2015-10-26

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The host location of the much-anticipated cross-Straits softball match has been all but confirmed to be Pingtan, an island county in eastern Fujian, according to a senior sports official.

The news that Pingtan is to hold the “Haxia Cup” softball match was disclosed by Yang Xu, director of the softball department of the General Administration of Sports of China (GASC), on Sunday.

Pingtan likely to hold cross-Straits softball match

Yang spoke highly of a newly-built softball stadium in Pingtan, suggesting it only needs to improve accommodation and services.

The stadium, accommodating about 5,000 spectators,is one of the best nationwide. It is the locale for all softball matches of the ongoing first National Youth Games, the largest sports meeting in Fujian province lasting from Oct 18 to 27.

“The venue meets the standard of international softball competitions. Pingtan will surely be capable of holding more domestic and overseas events after enhancing accommodation and services,” said Yang.

The remark is echoed by Wen Wen, deputy director of GASC’s publicity department, who watched a match between Chengdu and Nantong from the stands on Sunday.

“The facilities of Pingtan’s softball stadium can even match Olympic venues. I believe it is good for hosting international matches. It is a basis for hope for sports industries taking off in Pingtan.”

More exciting news for Pingtan’s softball community, according to Yang, is that the stadium is expected to become one of the training bases for the national softball association, meaning the national team and many local teams will come to Pingtan for training and competition, which will definitely elevate local softball enthusiasm and skills to a new height and lead to development of related industries.

Local authorities have attached more importance to softball growth in recent years given that Pingtan and Taiwan have significantly increased cultural and economic communications, and that softball is arguably the most popular sport in Taiwan.

In January, Pingtan held an invitational cross-Straits softball tournament. Nine teams from Pingtan and Taiwan competed over two days, generating a lot of positive feedback from both sides.

The Pingtan Softball Association formed an alliance with the visiting Taiwanese softball teams prior to the tournament.

Pingtan likely to hold cross-Straits softball match

Taipei Lehuo players pose for a photo after winning the 2nd Cross-Straits Softball Tournament in Pingtan, Fujian province, Jan 4. [Photo/pingtan.gov.cn]

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