There were no surprises, Cuba is the first Youth Baseball5 World Champion after beating France
Cubans have dominated the beginnings of these competitions at all levels
In a sporting discipline truly tailored to Cuba - who on the island does not grow up playing it - the Cuban national team defeated France 2-0, with partial scores of 6-3 and 2-1, in the final of the I Cup Baseball5 Youth World Cup. Winning the youth world title as well as the senior world title last year, the Cubans are showing that they are the current kings of the discipline.
The tournament, played since October 10 at the Yenimahalle Spor Kompleksi in the municipality of Yenimahalle in Ankara, Türkiye, had another Latin American representation on the awards podium. Hours before Mexico defeated the host country 2-1 ( 2-3, 7-1, 4-2) for the bronze medal of the tournament.
The second edition of the Baseball5 Youth World Cup will be played in 2025, at a yet-to-be-defined venue, with the event serving as a qualifier to the Youth Olympic Games in Senegal in 2026.
Gold medal match was close, especially in the second game of the best-of-three series. Cuba, however, managed to defeat France 2-0 by playing an accurate game and making almost no errors. With their game, the European team affirmed their position as the number 2 team in the World Rankings, and were only beaten twice by the Cubans.
For its part, Cuba finished the tournament undefeated with only one set lost, this Saturday against Mexico. Cuba's 9-0 record, including the final, was unquestionably superior to all rivals, extending Cuba's global dominance in the discipline.
Now Cuba has 18 consecutive victories in World Cup tournaments, including the senior category where they were crowned world champions in 2022. The only defeat occurred on Saturday, when Mexico beat Cuba 7-6 - needing 2 extra innings - in the second of three games played. Cuba won the game 2-1.
The truly outstanding Josué Gutiérrez was included in the tournament All-Star team. Furthermore, Cuba also dominated the individual awards with Haila González and Jadier R. selected as the Most Valuable Players in both the female and male categories, respectively. As assistant coach, Sergio Pérez, also from Cuba, won the award.
Precisely, regarding his presence in the tournament, the Cuban captain told the press days ago: "I do this with pride, since I was a child, I always wanted to represent Cuba as an athlete and I am very happy to be here in this Youth Baseball5 World Cup"
This is how the Cubans played this 1st Baseball Youth World Cup5.
Qualifying Round, Group A
Cuba 2, China 0 (10-0, 11-1)
Zambia 0, Cuba 2 (1-16, 0-3)
Cuba 2, Türkiye 0 (6-4, 10-0)
Tunisia 0, Cuba 2 (0-8, 6-9)
Malaysia 0, Cuba 2 (0-8, 0-12)
Cuba 2, France 0 (11-1, 7-4)
Chinese Taipei 0, Cuba 2 (0-4, 0-3)
Mexico 1, Cuba 2 (1-7, 7-6, 1-3)
France 0, Cuba 2 (3-6, 1-2)
Cuba's performance against its rivals
China: 21-1 (+20 runs)
Zambia: 19-1 (+18)
Türkiye: 16-4 (+12)
Tunisia: 17-6 (+11)
Malaysia: 20-0 (+20)
France: 18-5 (+13)
Chinese Taipei: 7-0 (+7)
Mexico: 16-9 (+7)
France: 8-4 (+4)
Cuba 142-30 (+112)
All Stars of the I Youth World Cup Baseball5
1. Josué Gutiérrez (Cuba)
2. Mert Tekeci (Türkiye)
3. Luis Bencomo (Mexico)
4. Marie-Agnes Brouard (France)
5. Xiaoyu Liu (China)
Most Valuable Player (Male)
Jadier R. Ulloa (Cuba)
Most Valuable Player (Female)
Haila González (Cuba)
Sergio Arturo Pérez (Cuba)
Baseball5 2023 Youth World Cup, Cuba Team
#3 Yoel Blanco Frómeta (18 years old)
#15 Amanda Dz Jimeno (16)
#6 Adis Yudith Espinel Felizola (14)
#17 Claudia Caridad Gómez Gómez (16)
#4 Haila González Collazo (18)
#22 Josué Gutiérrez Calunga (17)
#7 Alendar Ortíz Vaillant (18)
#1 Jadier René Ulloa Massip (18)
Sadián Fernández Álvarez (Head coach)
Sergio Arturo Pérez Hechevarría (Coach)