Macedonian Samurai defeat Greeks, in Greece
Wednesday, 01 October 2008

Macedonia earned a bronze medal in Kendo, the ancient Japanese Martial Art discipline. The Greeks had made plans for their lunch, the inexperienced Macedonian Kendo National team. However, the stubborn neighbors made different plans, defended their name, defeating  the hosts in Volos, 3-1.

Macedonia is recently admitted member of the European Kendo Federation (less than a year), had beaten the experienced Greek team for the bronze medal at the Balkan Championship held this weekend in Greece.

Greece is a member of the European Kendo Federation for over 15 years, but the Macedonian heart defeated all barriers that the host purposely put up.

Macedonia’s troubles started as expected, at the border.
-Their customs officials held us there for hours. They turned over every peace of paper and clothing we had on us, looking for something so they wouldn’t let us pass. But, they didn’t find anything and after several hours we were allowed to enter - says Zlatko Keskovski, Kendo Master and national team member.
The rest of the national team members are Andrej Atanasovski, Mensur Bojda, Nikola Baleski and Matej Josevski.

The terror waged on the Macedonian Kendo national team was transferred from the border over to the local authorities in Volos. To intimidate the Macedonians, Greek authorities sent  members of the Anti-Terror Unit to watch the training of the Red and Yellow team.  
- Their authorities were fairly agitated. We are accepted in the European Kendo Federation under Macedonia, with the MKD abbreviation. The host tried to scare us, we were told we would be eliminated from competition. We didn’t budge, told them we will sue them. This went back and forth and the start of the Tournament was delayed by three hours. The Greeks saw we are not backing down, and the other national teams started to get angry with the hosts, so the Tournament started.

The clever and experienced Greeks thought of a very good way to humiliate Macedonia, by fixing a draw against the Macedonian team, what they considered to be the least experienced team from all.

-The draw was fixed, even the other national teams knew it. The Greeks even brought in TV Crews to record the huge victory for Greece. But, they left the battlefield humiliated, in front of their fans. The Greeks had no chance against us.  They were shocked by the loss, did not wish to shake hands, but were forced to do it because of the Japanese Tradition.- continues Keskovski.
After Macedonia won its bronze, it lost to the new Balkan champion, Montenegro, though it did win the hearts of the rest of the five national teams, Greece being the only exception.

- We are Macedonians to everyone. The rest of the teams were shocked by Greek behavior. The Bulgarians and Montenegrins were particularly disgusted.

Greek Debacle watched by 1000 fans live
Greek defeat did not cool off the hosts who demanded the Macedonian National team to quickly leave the Tournament fearing for their safety.
- We were told the fans would attack us.  We have swords, no need to be in a rush to leave, besides, the TV Crew who supposedly came to capture “Greek Glory“, I am pretty sure they were not broadcasting the match- joked Zlatko.


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