Wednesday 23 August 2023

Pentathlon World Championships

 Darren happened to notice that the Pentathlon World Championships were taking place at Bath University, and it was only £5 per ticket to watch the relay races. Obviously we had to go to see it.

Each team was made up of two competitors and 14 countries had entered. Both competitors had to show jump, then fence, then swim and finally run around the track stopping twice to fire laser guns and hit a target five times before they could carry on to the finish. 

The afternoon was full of surprises, the first one being that the fences for the horse jumping looked quite low, but lots of the competitors had troubles with their horses. They often knocked poles off, a few refused to jump certain fences, and the horse with a German rider stopped dead so suddenly that the rider flipped over the horse's head and on to the ground. For this they got disqualified and were docked 300 points which actually meant seconds. That seemed really extreme, as Britain knocked two poles down and only lost 14 points. 

There was also long waits between the events, and I spoke to an official and said that I was expecting it to be more like a triathlon where they raced to the next event and started it really quickly. She thought this funny, particularly as their riding and fencing outfits were quite fancy.

She also thought it funny that a lot of the contestants weren't very good horse riders, and that their scores were very poor.

The fencing looked very technical, and we were disappointed to learn that the British team were placed third from the bottom. All of the teams had played each other prior to the start, but they had one last bout that we watched, and I think that the winners only scored two points/seconds per match. 

We couldn't see the swimming live, but watched it on a big TV screen, and I have no idea how many points/seconds were awarded. After yet another wait and change of outfits, it was on to the running and shooting. 

This was a handicap race, dependent upon the number of points gained during the day. Ukraine went first, then Egypt and Korea. There was some very long gaps between competitors setting off, and the last four teams, including Germany, all set off together very, very far behind. 

Obviously, you can't be good at everything, and the Ukrainians were definitely not runners, and were overtaken by loads of teams. The Egyptians in contrast, were great runners but not such good shooters. 

It was an exciting run to the finish with Egypt first, Hungary came from nowhere and just pipped Korea for second place in a close sprint. Britain had the support of the crowd and did well to move up to seventh.

It was an interesting afternoon if a little slow at times, although we filled the gaps with ice cream, cake and coffee. I would go to see it again, but I definitely think that they should consider a triathlon like changeover between events. 

1 comment:

  1. With the horse riding I think you'll find they don't bring their own horse they just get given one. So I'm pretty sure the first time they've ever ridden the horse is when they do the jumps