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WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup - Group A: 23 combined medals, 13 golds

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<p>With every team having at least appeared two times (Cuba) up to featuring in all previous editions (16 - Canada, Japan, New Zealand, USA) of the <a href="https://www.wbsc.org/en/events/2022-mens-softball-world-cup/home"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">XVII WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup</span></strong></a>, every nation has played a role in the tournament’s 56-year rich history. Let’s check some historical information of each participating team of Group A in the XVII WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup.</p>

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<p>Group A includes the two most successful nations in the history of the tournament, and the defending world champions Argentina. </p>

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<p>New Zealand, USA and Argentina combine for 13 of the previous 18 gold medals awarded**: 7 for the Black Sox, 5 for USA and 1 for the South Americans. These three nations own a total of 23 medals. The six participating teams in Group A tally a total of 63 participations in the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup. </p>

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<p>For comparison, Group B boasts 22 medals (Canada (13), Australia (4), Japan (3) and Venezuela (2)) and 68 appearances in previous editions. </p>

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<p>The top-ranked nation&nbsp;and defending world champions&nbsp;<strong>Argentina&nbsp;</strong>will open their title defence in Group A.&nbsp;The South American nation made its debut in 1980 and this will be their 11th appearance in the event, including the last six in a row.&nbsp;After back to back titles in the Junior&nbsp;Men’s Softball&nbsp;World Championships 2012 and 2014,&nbsp;Argentina claimed the world title in Prague, in 2019, representing their first and only medal in the history of the event.&nbsp;</p>

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<p><strong>Czech Republic </strong>hosted the Men's Softball World Cup in 2019, marking the first Men’s Softball World Cup played on European soil. The European champions made their tournament debut in 1992 in Manila, and since then have played in the last 10 editions.&nbsp;Coming from an&nbsp;eighth-place performance in&nbsp;Prague,&nbsp;the Czech Republic&nbsp;aims&nbsp;to make the playoffs for the&nbsp;fourth time&nbsp;(2004,&nbsp;2015&nbsp;and 2019).&nbsp;</p>

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<p><strong>New Zealand</strong>&nbsp;is the most successful Men’s National Team in&nbsp;the&nbsp;history&nbsp;of this event.&nbsp;In&nbsp;2017, the Black Sox clinched their seventh world championship with a come-from-behind victory over arch-rivals, Australia.&nbsp;From 1984 to 2017,&nbsp;New Zealand played&nbsp;10 consecutive&nbsp;World Championship Finals, winning six of them. In 2019, they finished in fourth place, out of the medal positions for the first time in 39 years. New Zealand have medalled in 13 of the 16 previous World Cups.</p>

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<p>The&nbsp;<strong>United States</strong>&nbsp;is the second most decorated team in history, with five titles. They won four of the first five events played and won a medal in the first eight World Championships. After that, they have only made the podium once, in 2000. Their last title was in 1988, in Saskatoon. The red, white and blue have played all 16 previous World Championships, and missed the playoffs only once, in 2015. Their goal is to advance to the playoffs out from Group A and claim their 10th medal in the program’s history.</p>

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<p>In 2019,&nbsp;<strong>Cuba&nbsp;</strong>played the tournament for the second time in history, after their debut in 1988 when they made the playoffs and finished in fourth place. The Cubans finished in 10th place in Prague. This will their third appearance in the Men’s Softball World Cup, and their first back-to-back tournaments.&nbsp;</p>

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<p>The&nbsp;<strong>Philippines</strong>, the lowest ranked team in the tournament,<strong>&nbsp;</strong>made their debut in the second World Championship in 1968, making the playoffs and finishing in fourth place. Since then, they have failed to qualify for the Super Round in their next nine participations. After missing the 2017 World Championship, in 2019 they ended in 16th place, without recording a victory. &nbsp;</p>

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<p>*<em>* Three gold medals were awarded in 1976 in Lower Hutt, New Zealand, since the playoffs of the tournament were rained out.</em></p>

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