May 05 - Knights clad in custom hand-made armor resurrect medieval combat at the world championship held at Spain's 15th century Belmonte Castle. Elly Park reports.
A battle is in full swing at Belmonte Castle in Spain. These knights in shining, hand-made armor are the finalists of the Medieval Combat World Championships. Sixteen are wielding their swords in the honor of the United States, while the other 16 fight for Polish glory. And spectators can confirm -- the blows aren't just for show. SOUNDBITE: Spectator from Argentina Living in Spain, Matias, saying (Spanish) "It's quite aggressive. It would be great to get a hold of a sword and also to see if you have the guts to get in there because when you watch these fights, even though they are a sport, they are quite aggressive." It's because the goal is to knock down every single opponent from the other side. The adrenaline-fuelled battles, reminiscent of the fighting tournament of the Middle Ages, has been gaining popularity since starting in Eastern Europe some 20 years ago. This year, it was the Americans who clinched final victory. SOUNDBITE: USA Team Member, Anthony Lynch, saying (English) "It's like a million bucks, a whole year to get hear and to have a goal like this is a dream come true and we had to fight the best team." The four-day tournament drew contestants from 19 different countries, and was viewed by at least 10,000 spectators -- and some of them seemed to be inspired to take their swing at victory.