Fahad Al Qahtani (centre), President of Champion Of Champions (COC) Doha 2013 during a press conference at Al Shaqab Arena yesterday. Also seen are Fahad Al Hajri (left), Media & Broadcast Manager for COC Doha 2013, Omar Al Mannai (second left), Event Director of COC Doha 2013, Dr Klaus Schormann (second right), President of International Union of Modern Pentathlon and Dr Andras Tatar, Venue Director for COC Doha 2013. BOTTOM: A graphic of what constitutes a pentathlon event. picture by: Shaival Dalal
DOHA: Pentathlon, an Olympic discipline since 1912, will make its debut in Doha this week, President of Al Shaqab Arena Fahad Al Qahtani announced yesterday.
The Doha leg of Champion of Champions (COC) will be contested by the world’s top athletes in fencing, swimming, shooting, riding and running over two days this week.
“We had been working on this project since March. I am glad to announce that come this Saturday and Sunday, Doha will open doors to two of its top sports arenas for the Champion of Champions round,” Al Qahtani said.
Giving details of the event, Al Qahtani said Al Shaqab will host riding, running and shooting competitions while the Recreation Centre will stage fencing and swimming contests.
The women’s competitions will be held on Saturday while the men’s events start on Sunday, the last day of the two-day event, Al Qahtani added.
President of Union International de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM) Dr Klaus Schormann said Al Shaqab Arena deserved to host the first ever pentathlon edition in the country.
“This is an absolutely fantastic venue,” Schormann said. “The athletes will love this wonderful facility,” he added.
“This pentathlon is not just sport. It is education for all those who compete in this discipline. We are part of the Olympic Games charter.
“I would like to tell you that the new IOC President Dr Thomas Bach, a former fencer who won an Olympic medal in pentathlon. He knows the sport,” Schormann said.
According to the event programme, fencing will use the epee competition in a round-robin format while swimming contests will be held over 200m freestyle.
The riding will involve show jumping over a 350-450 m course with 12 obstacles.
“Competitors are paired with horses in a draw 20 minutes before the start of the event,” Al Qahtani said.
“The running and shooting disciplines will be contested in tandem,” he added.
Schormann said latest technology will be used in the shooting competitions.
“Shooting is safe and easy in pentathlon,” Schormann said. “We use laser pistol shooting in a standing position from 10 meters distance at a laser target,” the UIPM boss said.
“The running discipline will see athletes covering a distance of 3kms,” he added.
According to the rule book, athletes will have three bouts of shooting where they must hit the target five times each followed by a 1000m run.
Schormann said the event at two different venues at short distance is easy for the fans and the media attending the event.
“At London Games, transportation was a challenge but it was managed well. We won’t have those issues here as the two venues are at a very short distance that can easily be covered,” he said.
Schormann said pentathlon was a fan favourite event all over the world.
“Ever since the event was included at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games and the 2010 Senior World Championships, it has been the athletes and fans’ favourite event,” Schormann said.
“UIPM is looking forward to expanding this exciting discipline with this new series, building towards the event’s inclusion at Rio 2016,” he added.