2012 WKC in Novara - Day 1
The 15th WKC kicked off in Novara, Italy, today with the Men’s Individual event. Novara skies were blue, but that mattered little to the thousands who packed into the modern sporting venue. The air was thick with tension from the outset, and the round-robin matches saw a number of upsets, and very exciting matches. Predictably, the Italian fighters received their fair share of raucous support from the locals as they demonstrated the fruits of their intensive build up for the event. By the end of the day, the final four had been whittled down to two Koreans and two Japanese. In a perfect match up of the world’s kendo superpowers, one semifinal was between S. Takanabe (the reigning Japanese champion) and T. Kim from Korea. The other semi was between K. Furukawa and W. Kim for Korea. Like a well-written drama script, Takanabe won his match, and W. Kim beat Furukawa in the other court. Once again, it was a Japan-Korea match up for what was to be a fantastic final. After 5 minutes of intense probing, but little striking, the match went into encho. The tension was almost unbearable, and then Takanabe unleashed what has to be one of the most epic tsuki points in the history of international kendo. Takanabe added a world cup to his trophy cabinet, and once again, the Koreans had to settle for second place in the individual event.
Tomorrow is the women’s individual and team events. Then, the boys will be back on Sunday for the men’s team event. Still plenty of action to come from Novara. Check out the videos taken by KW staff. A full report of the matches and results will be given soon…