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Wuxi hosts exciting opening to friendly China-Russia baseball tournament

By Bradley Johnson (en.wuxi.gov.cn)Updated: 2024-04-23


Umpires, coaches and players from both nations listen to the opening ceremony. [Photo provided to wuxi.gov.cn]

Wuxi's commitment to international sports was on full display this past weekend during the opening ceremony and first match of the second China-Russia Cup Baseball Tournament, held at the baseball field of Wuxi Professional Sports Team Management Center in Jiangsu province on April 20.

The event, part of the China-Russia Year of Sports Exchange, was inaugurated by Chen Yi, director of the Wuxi municipal sports bureau, who remarked, "Baseball builds bridges for exchange, providing a platform for the showcasing of skills through friendly on-field competition."

Nikolay Gervasov, vice-president of the Russian Baseball Federation, praised the deep-rooted friendship and shared cultural values that the tournament fosters.

Immediately following the opening ceremony, the tournament's first match featured a spirited face-off between the Jiangsu Juma club and their Russian Youth Team counterparts, culminating in a 3-0 victory for the hosts in front of a home crowd of several hundred fans.

The game remained scoreless into the fifth of seven innings, featuring solid pitching and standout defensive plays, including a spectacular running catch by the Russian left-fielder in the third inning and double plays on both sides.

Wuxi native Zhu Xudong broke open the scoring by hitting a triple to drive in the first run in the bottom of the fifth. His effort was complemented by teammate Cao Jie, who doubled in two insurance runs an inning later. Relief pitcher Li Ningji pitched a dominating two final innings, closing the match with a vicious strikeout.

Reflecting on the game, Zhu remarked, "Facing the Russians, who are excellent defensively and have steady pitching, made us play our best. It's exhilarating to compete on such an international stage and get to know the Russian players."

In addition to bolstering direct ties between the Chinese and Russian baseball programs, the tournament also serves as a prelude to the upcoming U-23 Baseball World Cup, scheduled to be held in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province from Sept 6 to 15. This will mark the first time a Chinese mainland city has ever hosted the prestigious international tournament, evidence of the ever-increasing presence of China on the global baseball stage.


Russian Youth Team players autograph baseballs for young fans. [Photo provided to wuxi.gov.cn]


Fans came out by the hundreds to partake in the international sporting atmosphere. [Photo provided to wuxi.gov.cn]


Coach Chu Fujia discusses strategy with Jiangsu Juma players. [Photo provided to wuxi.gov.cn]


Zhu Xudong drives a triple to left-center field to open up scoring in the fifth inning. [Photo provided to wuxi.gov.cn]


Coach Chu Fujia and Jiangsu Juma players shake hands after the match, which ended 3-0 in favor of the home team. [Photo provided to wuxi.gov.cn]

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