Player shot in baseball match in Venezuela

Reuters - Sat, 14 Aug 21:19:00 2010

Venezuela is investigating the apparent shooting of a Hong Kong baseball player during a game at the women's Baseball World Cup and has yet to decide when, or if, the 11 international teams will be allowed to resume play.

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Vice President Elias Jaua said the player was hit in the leg during a game against the Netherlands on Friday. She was taken to a medical centre for treatment, he added, but was not seriously injured.

Games were suspended on Saturday.

He said the authorities were conducting a thorough investigation into the incident, which took place on the second day of the tournament at the Jose Antonio Casanova stadium at Fort Tiuna, a military base in the capital Caracas.

"We are evaluating the conditions to continue this important event," Jaua told state television. "We call on the Venezuelan public to unite in defence of our nation ... we hope the whole country can help us explain what has happened."

Venezuela has one of the continent's highest crime rates, and many residents carry firearms.

Jaua said the player had been struck by "an object similar to a stray bullet".

The injured player was not named, but Sports Minister Hector Rodriguez said on Twitter on Saturday that she was in "perfect health" and was back with her team.

The International Baseball Federation said 11 teams were competing in the August 12-22 tournament. Teams were fielded from Australia, Canada, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Venezuela, Cuba, Japan, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United States.

The Australian Baseball Federation said in a statement that their team was at the stadium at the time of the incident because they were due to play in the next game.

"Needless to say, the game was abandoned and all teams were ushered immediately back to their hotels under tight security," the ABF said.

"We can confirm that Team Australia is safe and well in their hotel."


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