Wuhan Executive Commission (Reporter WAN Jianhui) As the whistle blew, athletes in navy uniforms rushed onto the balance beam of several meters high, climbed over the logs, ran circles around 6 iron poles before throwing, closed the hatch door, scrambled up the net, crept on ropes 4 or 5 meters above the ground and jumped with the aid of rope, completed long jump, went through the tunnel, passed over combined hurdles of ropes, and crossed over using ropes…

On August 12, the Naval Pentathlon Test Event for the 7th CISM Military World Games (7th CWG) kicked off in Mulan Lake Campus of Naval University of Engineering, which lasted for 4 days. The Naval Pentathlon Obstacle Race was held in the morning, during which cadets from Naval University of Engineering participated by imitating 9 foreign teams including Brazil, Germany, Spain, etc.

The Naval Pentathlon originates from a training scheme introduced by Italy for establishing the naval officer physical adaptability standards in 1949, and is the third pentathlon sport with military characteristics created by CISM subsequent to Military Pentathlon and Aeronautical Pentathlon. It consists of Obstacle Race, Lifesaving Swimming, Utility Swimming, Seamanship Race and Amphibious Cross-country Race which covers Cross-country Running, Shooting, Boat Race and Throwing.

In the hot sun, athletes braved competition among the drumroll from naval cadets. The competition site is located on a lawn by Mulan Lake, on which there’re brand-new equipment as well as ambulances carrying out simulated drill. Medical and security staff and volunteers in their positions performed respective duties. A relevant press conference was held after the Test Event.

GUO Xiaoyang, a member of the Bayi Naval Pentathlon Team, told the reporter after the competition that the competition site was superb and the sports programs displayed naval characteristics, for example, running circles around poles simulated the dizzying situation caused by billows. Other sports sections were also related to naval life as well as real battle condition.

As introduced by MEI Zeyuan, Vice President of Naval Pentathlon Competition Management Committee and Senior Colonel of PLA Navy, the 5 sports programs of Naval Pentathlon have naval characteristics. For example, the Obstacle Race displayed the tough style of military personnel and tested their strength, speed and body coordination through the breathtaking arrangement of single-plank bridge, rope net, Irish high board and combined hurdles.

The two swimming sports also show different characteristics. During the Lifesaving Swimming, athletes need to swim underwater, take off training jacket in the water and save the dummy 2 meters below before swimming to the destination with it. During the Utility Swimming, athletes are expected to overcome obstacles arranged in the water to deliver guns and unfasten the couplings. Seamanship Race makes a display of navy’s basic skills such as climbing up mast, towing and heaving cables, boat maneuver and operating on the water. The competition process is very eye-catching and greatly appeals to spectators.

According to MEI Zeyuan, it will be the first time for Chinese military to participate in Naval Pentathlon and it’s also the first time for China to host this kind of sports program. To make the Test Event achieve the standards of formal competitions, 90 cadets from Naval University of Engineering were picked to simulate 9 foreign teams, which not only meets the requirements on the number of athletes, but also provides an opportunity for cadets to improve their physical quality and military skills while opening up international horizon. Braving the heat and hardship, these cadets succeeded in mastering the skills required by Naval Pentathlon after 15 days of training.

(Editor NIE YANG)