2003 Asian Championship
From BR Bullpen
The 2003 Asian Championship was the 22nd Asian Championship. Organized by the Baseball Federation of Asia, it was a qualifying event for the 2004 Olympics, with the top two teams earning spots. Held at Japan's Sapporo Dome from October 31 through November 7, it was won by the host Japanese.
Japan was managed by legendary Shigeo Nagashima. Their pitching staff consisted of Koji Uehara, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hitoki Iwase, Hiroshi Kisanuki, Tsuyoshi Wada, Yuya Ando, Hiroki Kuroda, Hirotoshi Ishii and Masahide Kobayashi. Kenji Johjima and Motonobu Tanishige were the catchers. The infielders were 4 shortstops (Hirokazu Ibata, Tomohiro Nioka, Kazuo Matsui and Shinya Miyamoto) and one corner infielder (Michihiro Ogasawara). The outfield was Kosuke Fukudome, Yoshinobu Takahashi, Takuya Kimura, Norihiro Akahoshi, Kazuhiro Wada and Yoshitomo Tani. Akahoshi was a late scratch due to a back injury and was not replaced on the roster. Kimura and Kisanuki did not appear in the event. Fukudome led all players with 5 RBI while Takahashi led in average (.583). Miyamoto won MVP honors. Matsuzaka allowed no runs and fanned 12. Japan went 3-0 to win Gold and outscored opponents 24-1.
Chinese Taipei was guided by Sheng-Ming Hsu. They went 2-1 to advanced to the Olympics despite being outscored 14-8. The pitchers were Chih-Chia Chang, Chien-Ming Wang, Ming-Chieh Hsu, Wei-Lun Pan, Chang-Wei Tu, Chien-Fu Yang, Yueh-Ping Lin and En-Yu Lin (Tu would not appear in the tourney). The catching duo was Chun-Chang Yeh and Chih-Kang Kao. The infield included Chung-Yi Huang, Tai-Shan Chang, Chao-Hang Cheng, Chia-Hsien Hsieh, Chang-Ming Cheng, Chuan-Chin Wang and Yung-Chi Chen. The outfield included Chin-Feng Chen, Cheng-Min Peng, Chih-Yuan Chen, Kan-Lin Huang and Chia-Hao Chang.
South Korea was managed by Jae-bak Kim. They were 1-2 with a 10-8 run differential. Their performance meant that they would miss the 2004 Olympics; they had won Bronze at the 2000 Olympics and would take home gold in 2008. The roster included Min-tae Chung, Chang-yong Lim, Kab-yong Jin, In-sung Cho, Seung-yeop Lee, Dong-joo Kim, Jin-man Park, Jong-beom Lee, Han-lee Park, Jae-hong Park and Jin-young Lee.
People's Republic of China, skippered by Jim Lefebvre, was 0-3 in the final round with a 22-3 run differential. In the qualifying round (Japan, Taiwan and South Korea all qualified for the final round without participating in the qualifier), they went 3-0, outscoring opponents 41-1. They clearly showed they were 4th in Asia, well back of the top 3 and well ahead of the 5-7 teams.
Philippines went 1-2 in the qualifiers, being outscored 14-13.
Indonesia went 1-2 in the qualifying round with a 5-26 run differential.
Pakistan was 1-2 in the qualifiers, with a 11-36 run differential. It was Pakistan's debut in an Asian Championship.
Source: Wiki Baseball (Chinese)