CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela is investigating the shooting of a Hong Kong player during a game at the women’s Baseball World Cup and will issue a revised schedule on Saturday for the 11 international teams taking part.
Vice President Elias Jaua said the player was hit in the leg during a game against the Netherlands in a stadium at a military base in Caracas on Friday. She was taken to the base’s medical center for treatment but was not seriously hurt.
Games were suspended after the incident, and the South American country’s Sports Ministry said it would publish a revised tournament schedule later on Saturday.
“We are evaluating the conditions to continue this important event,” Jaua told state television. “We call on the Venezuelan public to unite in defense 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” during the game on the second day of the tournament.
The Sports Ministry identified the woman as Cheuk Woon Yee Sinny and said in a statement she had been discharged after spending the night at the Fort Tiuna Military Hospital.
It said she was clutching a bouquet of white roses and walking with crutches when she was met at her hotel by cheering members of the six teams playing their games in the city.
“What a pleasure to see them again ... I’m pretty well,” the ministry’s statement quoted the infielder as saying.
It said she was hit in the lower left calf as she took the field to play third base during the fourth inning of the game, which the Dutch team was winning 12-9.
She was visited in the hospital by her teammates, Jaua and Sports Minister Hector Rodriguez, the ministry statement said.
It added she was quite animated during the trip back to the hotel and had spoken with her family. She and her teammates and coach were calm about the “isolated incident,” the ministry said.
The tournament, sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation, features teams from Australia, the Netherlands, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Canada, Venezuela, Cuba, Japan, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United States.
The first six teams are playing their games in Caracas, while the rest are competing in the city of Maracay.
The Australian Baseball Federation said in a statement its team had been at the stadium at the time of the incident because it was 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 federation said.
Editing by Peter Cooney