Olympic team to play exhibition game against U-24 squad
The Korean Olympic baseball team will play an exhibition game against a team made up of the KBO's best young players on July 23, five days before the Olympic tournament begins.
The KBO announced on Tuesday that a special squad made up of the best players under the age of 24 that haven't already been drafted into the Olympic team will be formed to play a warm-up game against the national squad at Gocheok Sky Dome in western Seoul on July 23, the same day that the Olympic Opening Ceremony will be held in Tokyo.
Korea is the reigning champion in Olympic baseball, having taken gold the last time the sport was contested at the Games, in 2008. Team Korea returns this year under the same manager, Kim Kyung-moon, hoping to replicate the success in Beijing at the Tokyo Games.
The decision to play against players under the age of 24 is a nod to that Beijing victory. Younger players are often known as the Beijing Kids, referring to a generation of players who are presumed to have taken up the sport after watching Korea's success at the Beijing Games, so the game on July 23 pits the Korean Olympic squad against a team of Olympic dreamers.
The U-24 team will be picked by the same committee that selects the national team.
The Olympic team will also play two other warm-up games against KBO squads.
The Olympic team vs. U-24 squad will kick off the All-Star weekend, with the KBO also planning to hold it's All-Star game on July 24. After being canceled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the All-Star game between the Dream All-Star and Nanum All-Star teams will return this year, also at Gocheok Sky Dome.
With the exception of the All-Star and exhibition games, the KBO will break from July 19 to Aug. 9 for the Olympics.
BY JIM BULLEY [email@example.com]