Mumbai: Twelve Biathletes, who won bronze medals in the team event of the UPMI XIV Biathle World Championships, held in Dubai on 3rd November 2012, are committed to training harder before they aspire to make the transition into the Modern Pentathlon, an Olympic sport.
The sport Biathle (Run-Swim-Run) comes under the auspices of Modern Pentathlon, which consist of five different sports (Running, Shooting, Fencing, Swimming and Horse Riding) that an individual has to perform within a time zone. Biathle is a feeder sport for the Modern Pentathlon. World Series, World Championships and various International Championships for both games are held every year.
As a sport, Modern Pentathlon was first included in the Olympics in the 1912 Stockholm Games and this year was the 100th anniversary of the Modern Pentathlon in the London Olympic Games 2012.
This year, 537 biathletes around the globe participated in the World Championship, which included countries like South Africa, Great Britain, France, Australia, Egypt, Canada, Germany, UAE, Argentina, Venezuela, Czechoslovakia, Namibia, Ireland, Hungary, Italy, Greece and India, to name a few. Events were held in various age groups i.e. 10-12 years, 13-14 years, 15-18 years, 18 and above and Four Masters Categories.
The Indian teams finished in bronze medal winning positions in Youth A (Yash Pawale, Abhishek Pathak,Viraj Pardeshi) Male (Under-17, 1500m run, 200m swim, 1500m run), Youth B (Narun Gumaste, Pranav Deshpande, Harshal Wakharia), Male (Under-15, 1000m run, 110m swim, 1000m run), Youth B Female (Siddhi Chajjed, Viha Chitroda, Aishwarya Naik) (Under-15, 1000m run, 110m swim, 1000m run) and Youth C Female (Manasvi Iyer, Pooja Ghule, Shweta Shardul) (Under-13, 1000m run, 110m swim, 1000m run).
The selection of Team India was done through the 3rd National Championships, organized by the Modern Pentathlon Federation of India (MPFI) in Nasik (Maharashtra) on 25thAugust 2012. Around 375 athletes from all over the country took part in the nationals. The best five biathletes from each age group were selected and called for the National Training Camp held at Pune (Maharashtra). A similar training schedule was also held in Dubai before the championship.
The Modern Pentathlon Federation of India (MPFI) recently received affiliation from the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and this sport is under consideration to be included in forthcoming National Games & Asian Beach Games, Thailand.
Namdev Shirgaonkar, Hon. Secretary, MPFI headed Team India in Dubai, whereas the Head Coach of the team was Jitendra Khasnis.