Balance and harmony. These are the very first words that come to my mind after the airing of our Discus Contest.
I must admit it, the days before the discus check-in have been very tiring but, as my friend Mike Os told me as soon as he arrived in Naples, only those who organized a show in their life can understand how complex it is.
However, as the fish arrived for check-in and all the tanks were occupied, the clear well-being and the tranquility of the animals in competition helped to generate this feeling of balance and harmony.
The discus were telling us that my team had worked well and everything was as it should have been. The only downside was the strong smell of disinfectant that my angels Nicola and Attilio did not hesitate to use to reduce any mixture between the tanks.
This year, since I wished that the level of the fish in the show would be very high, I did not pay much attention to the number of members. In fact, I had asked for only 140 tanks to be prepared, and my friend Christian Pedone insisted for 160. However, we were both wrong, and four days before the start we had 160 registered discus and 72 new applications for entry that we had to refuse.
Our competition tanks now all contained fish of high quality level. The final countdown, that had begun about a year before, was over.
The discus were telling us that the show was ready to begin: they were almost all ready to be evaluated by our wonderful jury.
After a short briefing with all the judges, I've guided them in the contest area and, equipped with Ipads, Cuneyt Birol, Bernd Degen, Sergey Goryunskin, Hiroshi Irie, Andre Soh, began a judgement that took almost 6 hours. I only had one request: "pay attention to the shapes of the fish, and – as it is stated in our regulation – penalize prominent goiters, double chins and throat-chest detachments, together with any other obvious deformities." There was still that feeling of balance and harmony, it was felt in our group, we had in fact those that can be considered the best judges in the world.
The end of the judgement marked the beginning of a veritable feast of the discus, with participants from all over the world that, from Friday on, have crowded our fair.
The competition was now set aside and all the fans could confront unmasked with the others about personal tastes, purposes of selection, breeding techniques.
Only at the end of the prize-giving ceremony, after the appearance on stage of the World Discus Cup, this time assigned to Tony Tan, the spirit of competition was revived again and I heard with my own ears many breeders say: "that cup will be in my showcase..."
Nr. Carmelo Aricò