WC Women Baseball: Hong Kong player back in hotel; Dutch Team safe!
CARACAS (Venezuela) - Woon-Yee Sinny Cheuk, the 28-year old player from Hong Kong who was struck by a stray bullet on Friday in the Venezuelan capital during the game vs. The Netherlands on Day 2 of the Women's Baseball World Cup, is back in the hotel with her teammates. THE DUTCH DELEGATION IS CURRENTLY SAFE AND WELL IN THE HOTEL!
On Friday-afternoon, the game between The Netherlands and Hong Kong was suspended after three complete innings. The Dutch Team had just finished the third at bat defensively and was ready to go to bat in the top of the fourth inning. The players from Hong Kong were already back on the field when 3rd baseman Woon-Yee Sinny Cheuk suddenly fell down. It was initially thought she was hit by a ball, but as she remained lying on the field and moments later left the field on a stretcher, the word 'bullet' suddenly made its round. The players of the Dutch Team went back into the clubhouse and were then escorted back immediately to the hotel, as happened with the team of Hong Kong, as well as Australia, which was also in the stadium preparing for the game which would have been played afterwards.
...Woon-Yee Sinny Cheuk is welcomed...
...back at the hotel...
(photo: Adriana Cruz)
The game between the Dutch and Hong Kong of course was halted immediately and two scheduled games for Friday were suspended. For Saturday, all five scheduled games were scrubbed. The Dutch Team then had to play against Australia.
The unfortunate player from Hong Kong was released from the military hospital on Saturday-morning after spending the night there. Woon-Yee Sinny Cheuk was hit by a bullet in het lower left calf. At 10:30 Saturday-morning, Cheuk, who carried a bouquet of white roses, was welcomed back in the hotel by her teammates and said she was feeling well. After being treated in the hospital, Cheuk was visited by Venezuelan Vice-President Elias Jauá and Minister of Sports Hector Rodríguez Castro on behalf of the Venezuelan government. Her teammates also were in the hospital. When Cheuk entered the hotel on crutches, she also was welcomed with applause from the players of Australia, Netherlands, Chinese Taipei, Canada and Venezuela.
The game between the Dutch and Hong Kong was played in Estadio José Antonio Casanova, one of the stadiums that is located on the military base Fuerte Tiuna, where the stray bullet might have come from. An investigation is currently underway. After analysis of the reports, the International BAseball Federation (IBAF) will decide on the continuation of the Championship.
USA Baseball issued a statement regarding the incident. ,,We are aware of the events which unfolded Friday in Caracas, and since then we have been working closely with our security agents who are traveling as part of our Women's National Team delegation in Venezuela, with the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and with the event organizers to gather more information as we determine the appropriate next steps for our delegation," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO. ,,The safety of our athletes has been and always will be our top priority."