Tokyo Kitasuna Little League Wins Japan’s National Championship, Qualifies for 2007 Little League Baseball World Series
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (July 23, 2007) – Tokyo Kitasuna Little League
became Japan’s first national champion to earn an automatic berth to
the Little League Baseball World Series by winning the Japan
National Tournament on Saturday in Tokyo.
The Tokyo Kitasuna Little League defeated Hiratsuka Little League, from Hiratsuka City, 6-5, in the championship game. Tokyo Kitasuna Little League finished the 16-team tournament with a 4-0 record to qualify for the 61st Little League Baseball World Series for 11-12-year-olds that will be played in Williamsport, Aug. 17-26.
Teams from Japan have won the Little League Baseball World Series six times, the most recent in 2003 when a team from Musachi-Fuchu Little League defeated East Boynton Beach Little League, 10-1, in the world championship game. Tokyo Kitasuna Little League won the world championship in 2001, defeating National Little League from Apopka, Fla., 2-1, in its only other World Series appearance.
Tokyo Kitasuna Little League joins Seguro Social Little League of Mexicali, Mexico; Li-Shing Little League of Taichung, Chinese Taipei; and La Victoria Little League of Maracaibo, Venezuela, as participants in the 2007 Little League Baseball World Series.
The World Series championship game can be seen live on ABC television at 3:30 p.m., on Sunday, Aug. 26. ABC also will televise the International championship game on Saturday, Aug. 25 at 12:30 p.m., followed by the United States championship at 3:30 p.m.
The 2007 World Series will be the first operated under the new eight-year television contract agreement with ESPN/ABC. Five games will be televised on ABC. This will be the second year that all of the World Series games will be televised in high definition. For the sixth year since the tournament expanded from eight to 16 teams in 2001, every team will have games on national television.
All 32 games of the World Series are expected to be televised again this year. Sixteen World Series games will be televised on ESPN and 11 will be televised on ESPN2.
In addition, the ESPN family of networks will carry all eight of the U.S. Regional Championship finals in the Little League Baseball division. The U.S. regional finals have been televised by ESPN and ESPN2 every year since 1997.
The next berth in the Little League Baseball World Series is expected to be decided on Saturday when the Caribbean Region Tournament in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico is due to end.
The U.S. region finals, which will be televised live, are: Thursday, Aug 9 - Southeast (St. Petersburg, Fla., 8 p.m., ESPN); Friday, Aug. 10 - Southwest (Waco, Texas, 8 p.m., ESPN); Saturday; Aug. 11 - Midwest (Indianapolis, noon, ESPN); Mid-Atlantic (Bristol, Conn., 2 p.m., ESPN); Great Lakes (Indianapolis, 7 p.m., ESPN); West (San Bernardino, Calif., 9 p.m., ESPN); Sunday, Aug 12 – Northwest (San Bernardino, Calif., 10 p.m., ESPN2); Monday, Aug. 13 – New England (Bristol, Conn., 8 p.m., ESPN2). All game times are Eastern U.S. time.
Little League Baseball and Softball is the largest organized youth sports program in the world, with 2.7 million participants in all 50 states and more than 75 other countries.