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MOKRIN, Serbia, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- Streets of Mokrin village in Serbia yet one more time on Sunday became an arena for gander-fighting, a century-old tradition that has over the years grown into a popular annual competition.

The final battle here lasted more than 16 minutes, with hundreds of people gathering to watch feathers fly off as two three-year-old ganders firmly held each other's necks and struck with their wings, surrounded by their flocks of faithful females.

Dusan Djonparin, winner of this year's competition in senior category for three-year-old (and older) ganders [url=http://www.teambluejacketsproshop.com/...lvert-Adidas-Jersey/]Matt Calvert Blue Jackets Jersey[/url] , said the success is also partly the result of his own experience as the selector, breeder and gander-trainer.

"I was a champion in 2001 and the runner-up in the following year. I have this gander for three years already and I trained it for 20 minutes every day," Djonparin said. His gander was fed only with corn, wheat and similar foods, while his main exercises was walking and swimming.

Djonparin said his gander had extremely tough fights in the past, longest of which lasted for 50 minutes, and although at the beginning many saw him as an outsider [url=http://www.teambluejacketsproshop.com/...nberg-Adidas-Jersey/]Alexander Wennberg Blue Jackets Jersey[/url] , "he managed to show he is a master."

Since olden times inhabitants of Mokrin kept hundreds of geese for meat and eggs, because the surroundings had the perfect natural conditions for them, with plenty of water coming from underground wells, as well as the healthy and varied food -- grass and corn. Today each house in this village of 5,000 people has several geese that owners keep for their own pleasure and for participation in annual battles.

Dusko Kovacic, one of the founders of the competition back in 1986 told Xinhua that geese from Mokrin are special because their owners, including him [url=http://www.teambluejacketsproshop.com/...enski-Adidas-Jersey/]Zach Werenski Blue Jackets Jersey[/url] , spent years in pairing right ganders with adequate geese to get appropriate competitors for battles.

He recalled that battles were held unofficially before the competition was established, so they "never knew which gander is really the strongest." Since 1986 organizers had a lot of troubles to maintain the competition due to complaints of animal rights groups, but managed to overcome them.

Zivica Terzic, president of the association "Belo Pero" (White Feather) who organizes the competition, comes from a family that has for years been breeding the finest geese, winners of many competitions held in Mokrin in the past.

He said the tradition of gander-fighting in this village originated from 1920s and was started by a village doctor whose gander showed great passion for competing.

"He carried the gander with him to visit his patients who also kept geese and he would let them compete. If his gander would lose, the doctor would [url=http://www.teambluejacketsproshop.com/...hnson-Adidas-Jersey/]Jack Johnson Blue Jackets Jersey[/url] , of course, take the stronger one home with him, as no person could argue with a doctor. This is how it all started," Terzic explained to Xinhua.

He continued that people in Mokrin, a village mostly engaged in agriculture, maintained this tradition in order to make winter months more interesting, a custom which over time grew into a full scale competition in 1986.

"This year we had 109 competitors divided in three categories [url=http://www.teambluejacketsproshop.com/...erson-Adidas-Jersey/]Josh Anderson Jersey[/url] , according to the age of ganders -- senior (three years old and above), two-year-old ganders, and junior for ganders up to one year old," he explained, adding that ganders are escorted by females that motivate them by making noises, spreading their wings and moving in circles around them as they fight.

He explained that during the battle ganders follow their basic instinct to protect their flock (maximum four females according to the rules) and by fighting "they attempt to get the love of their females and leave behind posterity with them." The fights are held in the street, between houses of the owners [url=http://www.teambluejacketsproshop.com/...ligno-Adidas-Jersey/]Nick Foligno Jersey[/url] , because every gander is the strongest when defending his own territory and being surrounded with his flock.

"Battle ends when one of the ganders turns his back and runs away from his flock. It is important to say that there are no injuries or blood. Broken pride of a gander is the only injury that will be inflicted to them in these battles," Terzic said.

In Mokrin competitions start in mid-December and every two weeks another leg of the contest is held until the finals. Villagers call it the "World Gander-Fighting Competition."

Gander-breeder Predrag Markov revealed that the selection based on genetic characteristics is most important to create a champion, but training and diet also have an important role.

"Since the gander hatches there are visible predispositions, such as big legs and a large head. Genetic characteristics of his parents also have a role in it. As it grows, taking the gander to walks becomes increasingly important, as well as feeding it with a diversified diet," said Markov [url=http://www.teambluejacketsproshop.com/...avard-Adidas-Jersey/]David Savard Jersey[/url] , who has been maintaining this hobby for more than ten years.

He told Xinhua that the battle also requires a lot of experience from the owner, especially chasing the gander into the battle with a long stick, and preventing females from stealing his attention away from the opponent.

According to participants at the competition, other secrets of breeding a champion gander are to have a water pool at home, where the bird can build stamina in a natural way by swimming, as well as taking him to frequent walks through the streets, so that he could get acquainted with people [url=http://www.teambluejacketsproshop.com/...testu-Adidas-Jersey/]Mark Letestu Jersey[/url] , cars and the surroundings, in order to prepare him for these circumstances once battles start.

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