I was most impressed by the junior division (less than 18). There were a handful of very good young kenshi's. Amongst them, Nakayashi Koichi (Budo XI) and Simone Cohen (IBK) obviously stood out. They met each other in the semifinal, which lasted for 20 mins or so without any scores. In the end, while they both had hanzoku, Nakayashi stepped outside the court and lost the match. It was rather dramatic, because the tension was being built higher and higher. There wasn't any moment when I felt bored. When it ended this way, there was a loud sigh by everyone watching. It was utterly mesmerising. I post here a video of them fighting in the French Championship last year. It gives you an idea of what it was like.
Nakayashi (red) - Cohen (white)
On the second day after the team event, there was an open practise with the students of Kokushikan University in Tokyo, that has one of the strongest student kendo. This time about 15 students travelled with their teacher, who was invited to oversee this championship. It was such a great SHAME that my foot injury kept me from joining. Otherwise it would have been such a good experience! T_T...
This is, in fact, my last weekend in Paris. Since my foot injury I haven't been able to get back into bogu. The broken toe has heal to perhaps 95%. I would have started training if it was just the toe. However, a few weeks of walking crooked has caused the ligament and muscles about my ankle to be very weak and sore, with the symptoms of a foot sprain. I hope in a week I'll be able to start practising. Meanwhile, I have increased the frequency of suburi at home.