Japan Topple Softballs Champions in Beijing 2008 | Olympics on the Record

Japan Topple Softballs Champions in Beijing 2008 | Olympics on the Record

Since the 1940s, there were
many attempts to get softball into the Olympic Games,
but it took about 50 years before it eventually happened. Softball was finally put on
to the calendar for the 1996 Olympic Games
in Atlanta. It probably won’t surprise you
to learn the United States won. They won again in 2000. And again in 2004. Heading to Beijing 2008 and armed with
an All-American, Jennie Finch, home run record holder
Crystl Bustos and strike-out queen
Cat Osterman, the mighty USA softball team
was ready to defend its crown. The Americans were undefeated
in 22 Olympic matches and were looking
to extend that record. Japan, who had previously won
a bronze and silver, were desperate to go one
better. In order to overcome
the mighty United States, they needed someone special,
someone awesome. Someone like Yukiko Ueno. In 2004, Ueno became the first softball
player to pitch a perfect game at the Olympic Games. Seven innings – no hits,
no walks. Ueno was recognised as the
fastest pitcher in the game, throwing fastballs at
a terrifying speed of 126kmph. 126kmph? Hmm. What is that in miles
per hour, do you think? I think that’s… FAST! Everyone feared Ueno, but Team
USA did not dominate the sport by accident.
They had their own star – the greatest slugger in the
history of women’s softball. Meet Crystl Bustos. The Californian big hitter
held the record for the most home runs
in Olympic history. The proud winner
of two Olympic gold medals, Bustos had reserved
a place on her ample arm to mark a third
consecutive victory. Look how fierce she is. Yeah, she reminds me of yo-… Oh, erm, never mind. The 2008 gold medal match – the final final.
Japan versus the United States. The decision to end
softball’s status as an Olympic sport gave extra
meaning to the contest. The game began with
a two-inning stalemate. No score on the board. Japan finally got on the
scoreboard when Masumi Mishina
just made it to home plate. In the fourth inning, Eri Yamada doubled the
advantage with a home run… ..which sprung Crystl Bustos
into action. She did her thing. Boom!
And Team USA were back in it. In the bottom of the sixth, the
US had a massive opportunity to run up the score,
with bases loaded. The pressure was on Super Ueno. A home run would put
the Americans 5-2 ahead. Not on Ueno’s watch. The pendulum swung in the
other direction. Megu Hirose made home plate,
putting Japan ahead 3-1. Back to Ueno. If she could
shut out the Americans in the final inning,
the gold was finally Japan’s. Three outs
were all that was required. One. Two. One more out to go. Got her! In this clash of titans,
Japan had inflicted a first, and final, victory
over the United States. The queens of softball
were dethroned. Softball disappeared from the
schedule after 2008. Japan still reign supreme.

48 Replies to “Japan Topple Softballs Champions in Beijing 2008 | Olympics on the Record”

  1. For the longest time I was wondering who Jennie Finch was because she trained at a baseball academy close to me. I finally know who she is, thank you.

  2. 北京で上野からホームラン打った唯一の打者がブストス

  3. Softball's back in 2020, and if it's USA vs. Japan in the finals again, you can bet that home crowd in Tokyo will be screaming!

  4. Невероятно!!!!!! Наверно американки недооценили своих оппонентов, а потом психологически тяжело было перестроиться

  5. The U.S. was undefeated and Japan had one loss in the Gold Medal game. They finished with the same record but not the same result. U.S. is still the best.

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