Surprisingly I arrived at 8.15am with more than enough time to change and do the group warm-up. I was still coughing all night long and thought I'd be overslept... The cold I caught made me missed the last squad training before the tournament - and I know I'm not going to do much today.
I got teamed up with Jane and Sinyi (who's a regular visitor to my dojo) for the ladies event.
There were only 7 teams, with us getting "lucky" to go straight to the semi finals (?!). The HK A team defeated Macau on the first round, and it's easy to think that HK have no problem securing medals. (Job already done)
My team faced one of the Guangzhou teams and it quite interesting that there were more than 3 dojo presence (including the boys) in this tournament alone. Our Beijing friend and HK A teammate Xixi told us that a Taiwanese nanadan sensei BUILT a dojo in Guangzhou. No wonder why some of them look so serious into things...
I said "some" because half of them looks younger than me - and they were more interested in taking snaps with one another than watching the matches. Maybe I am getting old.
Back to my match. I'm on jiho and had this girl in white bogu who I've seen before (i.e. not a beginner). The men cuts I've been training on went down the drain with my sickness. My left arm wasn't landing cuts solid enough and so as my fumikomi. On the other hand, this girl was cutting straighter than I thought, and a few times I thought it came really close to losing.
(Me became the only non-scoring person in the team. Argh)
Finals - HK A vs HK B
Xixi battered Jane who fought harder than before. Xixi always have strong fumikomi - but some say it's not because of her footwork...
No surprise me took on JAY for the Nth time. Blame it on team mangement who always put us in the same fighting position. I wasn't at my best, knew her moves, and was going for a draw - yeah and so went the story.
Although Sinyi has been on-and-off in kendo for longer than I do, she wasn't too experienced in shiai and got carried away waiting not initiating attacked. Agnes was the opposite and got her degote somewhere in the middle of the game.
(Me didn't lose a point - not sure if its an accomplishment.)
Now that I pocketed Silver, the rest of the day was spent chitchatting to anyone I haven't seen for long...
...Including a mum with kid sitting at the side. There's a mens team from a company dojo in Kaohsiung, Southern Taiwan. The mum is an employee there supporting her boss on taisho, but she and her family has nothing to do with kendo. Poor lady! So we had a little chat about everything and exchanged contacts at the end.
The game was more fun than seriousness overall, with HK A mens team beating Kaohsiung's only at taisho match at the Semi. Final was HK A vs the improving and impressive Guangzhou team. GZ actually beats HK B to go through, only to be taken down 3-1 by HK A to finish the day.
Attendance was a bit thin - lucky enough we had teams from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Kaohsiung and Chengdu to fill the mens' event with. Locally I think we missed a number of good players, some have been busy with work, some happened to be taking the annual JLPT on the same Sunday. The association should really consider another date, seeing there are so many kendo people studying Japanese!
Seeing GZ being better than we all thought made everyone telling me to practice where when I move there next year with my job. I did consider more option in carrying my bogu, but maybe quite difficult going across the border over the weekend if I have to practice in HK... So it's confusing for now, but I'll definitely give them a check once the job is settled.
Pics to follow.