The 29th European Kendo Championships 2019
The European Kendo Championships started in 1974, and are held in those years when there is no World Kendo Championships. This means it’s held two years in a row followed by a World Championship. Common participating countries are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Mozambique, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom.
The men’s, ladies’, and junior’s team tournaments (five persons in the men’s and the ladies’ team, three in the junior team), and individual competitions, make up a total of six divisions. France (men), the Netherlands (ladies) and Serbia (juniors) each won a team tournament. Although the champion France showed a presence in the men’s team championship, the overall level has improved, with the Netherlands and Serbia, taking their first win respectively. The 30th European Kendo Championships will be held in Norway next year.
Men’s Team category
Champion France 3rd straight victory
22nd victory total
In this time, the host country Serbia won the Junior team tournament and aiming to win the first place in the Men’s team tournament too. France’s Olivier, who was chosen for the daihyo, was calm. “This is the moment that will decide our fate.” and jumped into the kote in a flash from issoku-itto-no-maai (一足一刀の間合) and brought an end to the match. France won his 22nd victory and for the third consecutive year.
Men’s Individual Championship
Powerhouse France Nakabayashi’s first title
Nakabayashi, who beat his teammate Bertout in the semifinals, really wanted to win for his fellows. In the second half of the game, he feigned men, and hit kote the moment Babos’ hands went up.
Ladies’ Team category
The Netherlands won their first title
It was France that won the Senpo match, but the Dutch won the Chuken match. Van Der Woude (Netherlands), who has a record of World Kendo Championships individual best 8 fought as Fukusho. She struck Men aiming for the timing that her opponent went back. Right after, she took another men. The Dutch team, who took the lead with this victory, also won in the Taisho match, and won their first title with a score of 3-1.
L. Meinberg (Germany) fulfilled to perfection
Meinberg, who had decided this to be her last European tournament, didn’t retreat even a little versus Ponomareva who was aiming for Russia’s first win. She took her first title with a debana kote and a men following her opponent’s hikiwaza.
Junior team category
Serbia’s 2 year plan pays off
The host country Serbia’s team trained and prepared thoroughly. They did not give an inch against the powerful Russian team. Pekec (Serbia), who fought his game calmly in the chuken match, hit debana-kote in the middle of the game. This one was the decisive strike and brought Serbia their first title.
Klyuev’s (Russia) sharp match intuition
Klyuev (Russia) fights well on the big stage of the final. He took debana men and tobikomi men and won his first victory. Wright (United Kingdom), narrowly defeated, was also highly praised for the kendo he brought to this tournament.
Report = Yanagida Naoko, Sato Mariko