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Panama Opens Baseball World Cup

On Saturday, October 1, 2011, the 39rd Baseball World Cup (IBAF) kicked off. Panama was awarded hosting rights last November, and it is the first time that such an important event has been held in a country better known for enjoying football.

This event will not just be remarkable in terms of sport, but it will also be important in terms of economy, as the Head of the National Sport Institute, Ruben Cardenas, affirms in La Prensa [es]: “this world tournament will have a great impact in our country's economy, since there will be a considerable number of people who stay in hotels near the four stadiums. We expect 3,000 visitors”.

Entrance of participating teams. Photo: Ana Rut Moreno, used with permission.

Entrance of participating teams. Photo: Ana Rut Moreno, used with permission.

Excitement

The Baseball World Cup also got most Panamanians interested in the event, and streets are full of little flags and “The world is in our home” souvenirs (in baseball, the base where pitchers throw the ball from and where players have to reach to score is called the home plate).

Social networks are also reflecting the excitement sparked by the event. President Ricardo Martinelli (@rmartinelli) [es] wrote on his Twitter account:

El Mundial de Béisbol contagia de alegría las calles de nuestro país, ya está listo el Metrobus para ir al estadio y ver a nuestro equipo

The Baseball World Cup spreads happiness in the streets, the Metrobus is ready for us to go to the stadium and see our team

The Minister of the Presidency, Jimmy Papadimitriu (@JDPapadimitriu) [es], stated some days before the opening:

Todo listo, este sábado inauguración en el Estadio Rod Carew del Mundial de Beisbol por primera vez en Panamá 16 naciones por el título mayor

Everything is ready. The opening ceremony of the Baseball World Cup in the Rod Carew Stadium this Saturday will be in Panama for the first time. 16 countries for the win.

The website Baseball World Cup Panama 2011 [es] states:

El estadio Rod Carew se vistió de gala, con fuegos pirotécnicos que llenaban de colores el cielo, mientras en el terreno, se presentaban muestras del folclor panameño, con bailes auténticos de los indígenas panameñas, al igual que de las bellas empolleradas y montunos. También hubo muestras de danza moderna, todo ante un esplendoroso despliegue multicolores.

The Rod Carew Stadium offered a great show with fireworks that spread light in the sky, while in the venue there were Panamanian Folklore performances, with authentic Panamanian indigenous dances, beautiful empolleradas and montunos. There were also modern dancing performances, in a splendid multicolor show.

The opening ceremony met everyone's expectations. Giovanni Sanchez (@GiovaniAntonio) [es] congratulates the organizers of the event through his Twitter account:

Anoche panama se lucio fue una apertura muy emocionante y colorida felicidades@MundialPanama11@EdwinECabreraU

Panama did a great job last night. It was a very exciting and colorful opening. Congratulations. @MundialPanama11 @EdwinECabreraU

Juan Carlos R. (JCRODNYY) [es] also writes:

Orgulloso de la inauguracion… Clase de presentacion sentia q estaba en otro Pais.. Orgullosamente era made in panama@MundialPanama11

Proud of the opening ceremony. With this show I felt as if I was in another country. It was proudly made in Panama @MundialPanama11
Panama beat Greece 8-3 in the opening game. Photo: Ana Rut Moreno, used with permission.

Panama beat Greece 8-3 in the opening game. Photo: Ana Rut Moreno, used with permission.

The party continued with the host's debut, who defeated Greece 8-3. Dorita Jaen (@Dorita_Isabel) [es] commented on Panama's victory:

@MundialPanama11 felicidades al equipo panameno….arriba mi bello Panama

@MundialPanama11 congratulations to my Panamanian team. Go my beautiful Panama J.

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