THE TWELFTH HOUSE
Copyright 2010 Bojan Zecevic
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CHAPTER 1 - MUNICH, GERMANY
On this final day, only the fittest, the strongest, and the best remained.
A female voice with a strong German accent echoed from the speakers throughout Olympic Hall. “Ladies and gentlemen, men’s quarterfinals—second match: red tag—John Stiles—England; white tag—Ishiro Akimoto—Japan.” A sharp smell of sweat emanated from the tatamis that covered the parquet flooring of the game court in the middle of the hall. A mixed crowd of competitors and martial art fans sitting on the rostrums surrounding the fighting area had witnessed more than one hundred bouts over the past few days. Karate masters from around the globe had bled and sweated in front of their eyes through defeats and victories, pain and ecstasy.
When the names of two great fighters were called, energetic stirs and excited shouts came from several front rows packed with white tracksuits embroidered with English Lion emblems. Members of the English karate squad, for whom the competition was over, occupied the area just behind the judging panel. A few supporters with Newcastle and Manchester United football shirts joined the cheering and waved the Union Jack.