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Former NPB All-Star, Olympic gold medal coach Hirokazu Ibata to manage Japan at WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup

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<p>Hirokazu Ibata will manage the Japanese U-12 National Baseball Team at the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup 2022, to be played in Tainan, Taiwan, this summer.</p>

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<p>"My goal is to support the younger generation of athletes through the experience I gained during my time as a player and coach," Ibata stated via the Samurai Japan official website.</p>

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<p>Born in 1975, Ibata is an eight-time Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) All-Star and a seven-time gold glove second baseman. He played 1,896 NPB games for the Chunichi Dragons (1998-2013) and Yomiuri Giants (2014-2015), collecting 1,912 hits. He helped the Dragons win the 2007 Japan Series. He represented Japan at the World Baseball Classic 2013, earning All-Tournament team honours.</p>

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<p>Ibata was on the Giants coaching staff from 2016 to 2018. He served under manager Atsunori Inaba as a coach for the gold-medal Samurai Japan at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.</p>

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<p style="background-color:#f8f5dd" class="has-background"><strong>You may also be interested in</strong>:<br>- <a href="https://www.wbsc.org/news/vi-wbsc-u-12-baseball-world-cup-rescheduled-for-summer-2022-in-tainan-tpe" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener" aria-label="U-12 Baseball World Cup rescheduled for 2022 (opens in a new tab)">U-12 Baseball World Cup rescheduled for 2022</a></p>

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