The Japanese team was convinced it would be unable to take part in this year’s Louis Lesaffre Cup, according to event organisers.
Selected in 2009, they began training a year ago. For the first time, Japan had not been selected automatically for the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie and the team had never participated in an international competition.
Then on 11 March, 2011, their world was turned upside down as the ground began to shake violently as the Japanese earthquake struck while they were training. Gone was access to water, electricity and transportation. Like many Japanese, they lived through days of anguish.
Training proceeded in the south of the country in a safer place and their efforts are now crowned with success. They produced “outstanding, amazing, refined results” and will travel alongside Korea to Paris in 2012.