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National pentathlon championship starts in Goa

Friday, 6 September 2013 - 5:43pm IST | Place: Panaji | Agency: PTI
An Olympic sport since the 1912 Games in Stockholm, Pentathlon features fencing, swimming, horse riding, running and shooting.

The 4th Modern Pentathlon National Championship began on Friday at Campal and will see 450 athletes from 14 states battle for top honours besides vying for a place in the Indian teams for the Youth Olympic Games next year.

Modern Pentathlon, which completed 100 years at the Olympics in London last year, is comparatively new to India and even newer to the state. But with Goa known around the world as a tourist destination and infrastructure already in place, it is the best destination to host an international event, Modern Pentathlon Federation of India general secretary Namdev Shirgaonkar told reporters here today.

"We are looking at Goa to host the modern pentathlon world championship in 2015. The last two world championships were held in Cyprus and Dubai, both tourist destinations, and Goa should be a big attraction with its natural coastline," said Shirgaonkar.

An Olympic sport since the 1912 Games in Stockholm, Pentathlon features fencing, swimming, horse riding, running and shooting.

"Modern pentathlon is not everybody's cup of tea so we have introduced another event called Biathle which consists of swimming and running. Biathle is very popular in the west and is the gateway to modern pentathlon," said Shirgaonkar.

The athletes will be fighting for a place in the Indian teams for the Youth Olympic Games 2014, qualifiers in China and World Biathle Championship in Cyprus.

"This is a full package sport. Each sport is different from the other and requires special skills. What you get to see are complete athletes," said Shirgaonkar.

The federation has offered to set up a modern pentathlon centre in Goa, if the state government offers to help. The modern pentathlon centre will have a riding, shooting and fencing academy with each academy costing approximately Rs 50 lakh, Shirgaonkar added.


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