Japanese home run king Sadaharu Oh is going to bat for baseball and softball's bid to get back in the Olympics.
Baseball gained full medal status at the 1992 Barcelona Games, and softball followed four years later in Atlanta. But both were dropped from the 2012 program in a 2005 vote by the International Olympic Committee.
The two sports have merged into a single confederation as they compete against wrestling and squash for a single spot on the 2020 Olympic program.
The IOC will decide which sport gets back in next Sunday in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a day after choosing the host for the 2020 Olympics. Tokyo is bidding against Madrid and Istanbul.
"If Tokyo wins the honor to host the Olympic Games in 2020, I believe baseball and softball competitions will deliver the peak of Olympic sport," Oh said in a statement issued by the World Baseball Softball Confederation.
The biggest obstacle to the bid is its failure to guarantee the presence of major leaguers. Commissioner Bud Selig has said the season won't be stopped to free players for the Olympics.
Japan sent its top professionals to the 2008 Beijing Games the last time baseball was in the Olympics and Oh called on all countries to send their best players.
"I believe every major league around the world should find a way to make its best players available for the Olympic Games," Oh said.
The 73-year-old Oh hit 868 home runs over a 22-year career with the Yomiuri Giants. He also holds the Japanese record of 55 homers in a season.
Swimmer nears Florida
U.S. endurance swimmer Diana Nyad's representatives said she has covered about two-thirds of her route from Cuba to Florida. Nyad's team tweeted that she was about 32 miles from Florida.
The 64-year-old is trying to become the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. It's her fourth attempt in the last three years.
If she succeeds, she expects to take about 80 hours to reach the Florida Keys.
Rooney to miss qualifiers
Manchester United manager David Moyes said Wayne Rooney has "no chance" of playing for England in its two upcoming World Cup qualifiers after cutting the middle of his forehead in training Saturday.
Moyes said the striker's injury after reportedly colliding with a teammate was "completely accidental" and will "probably keep him out for a few weeks."
When asked about the possibility of Rooney playing for England in matches against Moldova on Friday and Ukraine four days later, Moyes said, "I would think no chance."
Gabriel Charles and Ethnic Dance won divisions of the $250,000 Del Mar Derby for 3-year-olds.
Daniel Moreno took the lead of the Spanish Vuelta in Valdepenas de Jaen after winning his second stage in six days.
The Associated Press