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European Kendama Championships 2010

EKO 2010
Pic by TYM.de More TYM kendama photos start here

Back row, L-R: Alexander, Lars, Floris, Kurosai-san, Raul, Howard, Alex, Paul, Marko, Marcus, Steve, Alf.
Front row, L-R: Nils, Frida, Void, Johnny, Ian.

Watch the video here

The second European Kendama Championships took place at in Joensuu, Finland, at the European Juggling Convention. This was the first EKO to feature beginner and advanced tricklists, with new players being converted from the 1300+ jugglers in attendance. Void was running workshops, and Balla Balla were selling Sunrise and Oozora kendamas in the vast juggling hall.

Pre-qualifying runs were taken for the Speed Trick Challenge in the days running up to the competition, with no-one being told their times until the semi-finalists were announced onstage.

In total 15 competitors from 7 different countries competed in the EKO. Judges were Void and Ian from GB, and Kurosai-san from Japan. Having previously competed in the BKO in 2009, Floris from the Netherlands set an impressive early standard, and as it turned out, set the winning run. As a winner of the Beginners division, Floris is now obliged to compete in Advanced in future. There was a 3-way tie for 3rd place, which was settled by a Moshikame battle. Frida set the highest number of catches, 70, and in the process became the first person to complete the full minute in a BKA-run competition tie-break.

In the Speed Trick challenge, the fastest qualifying times were recorded by Lars (49.5s), Nils(50.4s), Alf(65.5s) and Ian(71.9s). Nils faced Alf in the first semi final, and went through with an even better time of 39.5s. Lars also went through, against Ian, in 48.1s, setting up an all-Norway final. Nis managed to up his game again for the final though, setting an even faster time of 38.5 seconds to win the Speed Trick Challenge title.

On to the Advanced division, and there was no need for anyone to leave the stage. Once again, it was Norway all the way, as, with two no-shows, Nils and Lars were the only two competitors for the title. It was neck-and neck all the way, and with both men falling victim to the Lighthouse, it was to be down to misses to determine who had come out on top. This time Lars had his revenge, with 3 misses to Nils' 5, so congratulations to the new European Kendama Champion - Lars!

The next day, there was a Best Trick competition, judged by audience applause. Continuing the Norwegian dominance, Frida won with a crowd-pleasing two-handed Oozara.

Thanks to our sponsors, kendamas.eu, and tlmb.net/tees.
See you all in Munich next year!

Position. Name. Highest level reached (misses along the way)

Advanced Division
1. Lars (NO) 8 (3) European Kendama Champion
2. Nils (NO) 8 (5)

Speed Trick Challenge Champion
Nils (NO) 38.5 sec

Beginners Division

1. Floris (NE) 11 (2)
2. Raul (ES) 8 (0)
3. Frida (NO) 8 (2)*
4. Ian (UK) 8 (2)*
5. Johnny (UK) 8 (2)*
6= Alex (GB) 5 (1)
6= Alf (DE) 5 (1)
8. Howard (USA) 5 (6)
9. Steve (UK) 4 (2)
10. Paul (GB) 4 (4)
11= Marko (FI) 3 (0)
11= Marcus (DE) 3 (0)
13. Alexander (NO) 2 (0)

* Separated by moshikame tie-break