Naval Pentathlon at the Military World Games
By Dialogo July 15, 2011
The naval pentathlon is an individual and team competition for men and women. This competition is made up of five events: obstacle course, life-saving swimming, utility swimming, seamanship, and amphibious cross-country.
The obstacle course has a length of 305 meters for men and 280 meters for women. The number of obstacles is different for each gender. There are ten in the men’s competition and nine in the women’s.
One of the most difficult tasks to be performed by the competitors on the course and one that can cost them time is the grenade throw. After making six complete turns, the athlete must throw a grenade through a watertight door. The distance is 10 meters for men and 7.5 meters for women.
In life-saving swimming, there are also differences between men and women. In this event, men perform part of the competition dressed in a uniform with a minimum weight of four hundred grams. The focus of the competition is the rescue and transport of a mannequin, simulating a life-saving situation. After swimming 50 meters (the first 15 meters underwater), the athlete has to rescue the mannequin at a depth of three meters and transport it to the end of the 75-meter course without letting it go.
The utility swimming course has four obstacles to overcome. In the first, after 25 meters, the athlete must pick up a rifle replica weighing approximately three kilograms and swim another 25 meters. He must then leave the replica at the edge of the pool. This stage, however, does not occur in the women’s version. For the second obstacle, after getting rid of the rifle, the athlete must pass under the obstacle at a depth of three meters. The athletes must go over the third obstacle. This is the exercise that demands the greatest strength during the competition. The last challenge is to disconnect a fire hose attached three meters underwater and continue to the other end of the pool to complete the competition.
In the seamanship competition, the athlete has to demonstrate skill with the mast, the cable, and the boat and also has to be accurate in throwing a line. Finally, after throwing the line, the athlete must tie one end to the cable that was hauled out of the water using a sailor’s knot (bowline).
The last competition is amphibious cross-country. It consists of a 2,500m run interspersed with three tasks: shooting, rowing, and grenade throwing.
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