It was the birthday present of dreams for China's LU Pinpin, who celebrated turning 23 on Oct. 23 by helping herself to gold medals in the women's individual and team events of military pentathlon.

LU was not the only one celebrating either, as China dominated the competition, placing first, second and third in women's individual as well astaking gold and silver in the men's. Not surprisingly with those results, the hosts also sailed away with both team golds.

Filing in behind the birthday girl in women's individual were silver medalist GUAN Chaonan and bronze medalist WANG Tanglin, while SUN Hongyan collected a team gold to make up for the disappointment of finishing narrowly outside the individual medal places in fourth.

Cross-country running was the fifth and final event in the individual and team military pentathlons, and Russia pulled off a one-two in the women's race through Liudmila EGOROVA and Evgeniia ASKENOVA to clinch the team bronze medal.With four athletes finishing in the top 15 of the individual event, Denmark took team silver.

"It's the best gift ever," said double champion LU."I broke the record both individually and as a team member today. The year of 2019 marks our 19th champion, so it's just amazing."

The Chinese were almost as dominant in the men's event where despite finishing 13th in the cross country PAN Yucheng won the individual gold medal. Team-mate ANIU Ergu, 29th in cross country, finished second overall while Brazil's Douglas CASTRO took bronze.

Defending champion Seregi ALPATOV (RUS) missed out on the individual medals this time around, ending up in fourth place after the five events, but he could console himself with team silver after Russia posted four athletes in the top 20 overall.

The top three men's cross-country runners hailed from Estonia, Belarus and France, but it was Brazil who took the team bronze medal with four athletes ranked 26th and above.

Military pentathlon finishes on Oct. 24 with the standalone men’s and women’s obstacle relay. It starts at 9:00 a.m. at the Ordnance NCO Academy, Army Engineering University of PLA Cross Country Venue.

[Editor NIE Yang]