With the swimming pool in blue and white looking stately and the shooting hall having "camouflage" exterior walls showing a full military style, on July 16, at the Mulan Lake Campus of Naval University of Engineering, the Naval Pentathlon Event Venue of the 7th CISM Military World Games (CWG) in Wuhan attracted the attention of reporters from nearly 100 domestic mainstream media, including People's Daily, Xinhua News Agency, CCTV and PLA Daily. The Naval Pentathlon is an item of the 7th CWG that our Army will participate in for the first time. In October, Naval Pentathlon Athletes from around the world will show off their military demeanor on the banks of the beautiful Mulan Lake.

Naval Pentathlon witness the fortitude of soldiers

The Naval Pentathlon stems from a training program introduced by Italy in 1949 to establish fitness adaptability standards for its naval officers. Generally, naval officers and soldiers stick to their post on ships that travel day and night on choppy seas, under which circumstances both strong will and strong physique are required. Therefore, when formulating the basic training plan, the naval forces have designed these practical application training programs, taking into account all the skills and mental states needed in the daily life of the navy.

During the 7th CWG in Wuhan, the Mulan Lake Campus of Naval University of Engineering stadium and facilities will undertake the naval pentathlon competitions. The stadiums mainly include the Swimming Pool, Seamanship Race Venue, Obstacle Race Venue, Amphibious Cross-Country Race Venue, Shooting Venue, Throwing Venue, etc.

In the Naval Pentathlon Swimming Pool, the eye-catching slogan "fight hard for 100 days to win the 7th CWG" inspires coaches and athletes. Under the leadership of the coach, the athletes are training actively.

The Swimming Pool will undertake two events: Utility Swimming and Life-Saving Swimming. FENG Yu, Coach of the Bayi Naval Pentathlon Team, said that the Utility Swimming of the Naval Pentathlon is different from that of the Olympic Games. Besides deeper water, there are obstacles and barriers under the water. Athletes have to cross the obstacles, squeeze through the barriers, and change the lanes in the midway. For male team players, they also have to swim to the shore with guns and then untie fire hydrants. Lifesaving Swimming has an extra "life-saving" task. According to the event requirements, in the Life-Saving Swimming event, athletes need to dive to rescue a 36 kg dummy, which tests the soldiers' ability in life-saving and underwater work.

The Obstacle Race of the Naval Pentathlon is one of the most breathtaking and exciting events that can best embody the lustihood of soldiers. Consisting of Balance Beam, Climbing Net, Long Jump, Tunnel, Combination Obstacle, Traction Crossing, etc., it tests the soldier's sensitivity, sense of balance, reaction speed, courage and strength.

The Seamanship Race tests the skills of soldiers in sailing. The Amphibious Cross-Country Race includes Cross-country Running, Shooting, Rowing, Grenade Throwing and other sports, which tests the wartime combat skills.

Train for mission, fight for honor

At present, it is less than 3 months before the official competitions of the Naval Pentathlon, the coach and athletes are conducting targeted guidance and training according to the requirements of the official competitions.

Our army formally formed the Naval Pentathlon Team in March 2017. FENG Yu, the Canoeing National Champion of the Naval Water Sports Brigade, was transferred to the team as coach, and a group of Marines and swimmers were selected to join the team. XIE Ronghua, female Naval Pentathlon athlete, said that when first joining the team, she could not even swim freestyle. However, with less than a year of training, she took part in the "European Cup" Open. Later, when she came back, she groped for her skills while learning the competition videos of foreign athletes. At present, she is focusing on improving her strength and speed.

When first joining the Naval Pentathlon Team, GUO Ziyuan, male Naval Pentathlon athlete, needed more than 1 minute and 20 seconds to complete the 100m freestyle, but now it only takes him about 1 minute and 3 seconds. However, this sunny boy was not self-contented. "Swimming is my weakness compared to the Obstacle Race. I still need continuous training and efforts to improve my performance," he said.

As the game approaches, the team members are all in high spirits. "At present, we are in the sprint phase. All the players are racing against time, practicing for the mission and fighting for the honor," said GUO Ziyuan.

Fine construction and high-standard competition venues

The Naval Pentathlon Venue was designed based on the current geological and geomorphic status of Mulan Lake, in order to protect the environment of Mulan Lake, and the environmental protection concept is considered in the whole construction process with a high-standard design.

According to the requirements in the Competition Manual of the International Military Sports Council, the facilities of many venues require very high precision. The General Contracting Company, China Construction Third Engineering Bureau Co., Ltd. participated in the construction of the Naval Pentathlon Venue. Its principal stated that, they constructed the venue according to the highest standard of the venues for the 7th CWG in the whole construction process and actively created the best conditions for the military athletes from the world.

“The Natatorium will undertake the competition of Lifesaving Swimming and Utility Swimming, and the length of the swimming pool is 50 meters.” The chief technical engineer HOU Song said, this was an extreme test for the fineness of construction. The technical personnel of this project estimated the concrete tension in advance, pre-laid 1cm respectively at the direction of the lanes of the swimming pool, controlled the surface layer, protective layer and waterproof layer within 3cm, to ensure there would be some adjustment space in case of any error. During construction, laser range finder was most frequently used, and measurement was a must before each working procedure was implemented. The same fine construction was also reflected on the plastic track for Obstacle Race. As per the regulations, the error within one step span shall not exceed 1cm.

The camouflage pattern on the outside walls of the Shooting Venue is very eye-catching and shows the navy elements. HE Xing, the project executive manager, said the Shooting Venue is one of the competition spots of Amphibious Cross-country Race. It has strict requirements for lights, wind speed and noise, etc. Gray flat lacquer is adopted for all the walls in the venue; a layer of bulletproof board is packaged in the 7 top beams, to ensure the safety during shooting competition.

The coaches and athletes are very satisfied with the Naval Pentathlon Venue. “This is a Naval Pentathlon base with the best conditions in China, and it can be said it has reached the first-class level in the world.” (Reporters WANG Ronghai and WAN Ling)

(Editor NIE Yang)