Competition was fierce. Tensions ran high. National honor and pride were at stake. 354 competitors from 24 countries. 30,000 visitors. Fibreglass tip and overlay. Gel sculpture. Fantasy nail art. Acrylic nail sculpture.
"This is one of the most important competitions in the world. You come to demonstrate your skill and show what your country can offer. There is rivalry because everyone thinks he is the king. It's normal. People don't speak to each other before the event and there a lot of nerves. But afterwards, we are friends and talk." - Carmelina Gandolfo, 32, of Italy.
"It may look ridiculous, but no more so than some of the clothes you would see at a high fashion show in Paris. It displays a mastery of the nail technician's craft." - Nailympics judge.
"I wouldn't be the person I am today if it wasn't for Michael Jackson. He taught me not to be afraid, to be a bit wacky and different. I'm known for my weird and wonderful creations. He's an example of how to express yourself artistically. Nails can be a very serious business. It can be bitchy behind the scenes, but I don't get involved in all that. In competitions I might be bricking it inside, but I always try to enjoy it." - Kirsty Meakin, 32, of Great Britain.
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