Saturday,16 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1301, (23 - 29 June 2016)
Saturday,16 December, 2017
Issue 1301, (23 - 29 June 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Family fun

On a perfect night and a joyful atmosphere, the first ever Modern Pentathlon Masters competition was held in Cairo, reports Inas Mazhar

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Al-Ahram Weekly

Altogether 125 athletes from all age groups took part in the competition. That day, everyone was a winner. The events started two hours after Egyptians broke their fast in the month of Ramadan.

Despite being a competition, it was held amidst a friendly atmosphere and in front of a high spectator turn-out. Everyone enjoyed the event. There was no tension whatsoever. Instead, there was laughter as the competitors took on the various disciplines.

The competitors were divided into age groups competing in swimming, shooting and running. Competitions were held for men, women and mixed relays in the under 30, 30+, 40+, 50+ and 60+. In the family event, which was the most exciting, one could see how a whole family contested for one goal, to play, have fun and win.

The day culminated with the distribution of medals and certificates to the winners.

Overall, the Masters’ inaugural competition in Cairo was successful thanks to Sherine Saleh, board member of the Egyptian Modern Pentathlon Federation. Saleh, a member of the Egyptian Olympic Committee, is also running in elections for a seat in the UIPM Masters committee. The Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne, commonly known by the acronym UIPM, is the international governing body of modern pentathlon. The elections are scheduled to take place during the World Masters Championship in Prague, Czech Republic, from 2 to 7 July.

“I am really impressed and proud of the success of this first event for the Masters,” Saleh said. “I was keen when organising it to follow the UIPM rules and guidelines of the Masters events. I also created a new race for families -- a relay -- which gave the competition a loving and enthusiastic spirit and encouraged all the families to take part with their pentathlete children.

“Accordingly, this encouraged parents to ask me how to train to improve their records. This in itself was an amazing success for me because I managed to drive the parents to share the same spirit of their kids in the competition. People were thrilled and asked me to organise more such events.

“I am suggesting to the UIPM this family race to be included within the Masters competition because the modern pentathlon is not a piece of cake, especially for a new Master pentathlete. If they were parents to young athletes, they would love to have the time for themselves to practice, when their children are training, instead of waiting for them for long hours doing nothing. Their kids will encourage them to participate in the modern pentathlon.

“I also believe that this idea aims at increasing the popularity and number of modern pentathlon athletes and this is good marketing. More spectators will come and there will be a lot to watch. Here, I take the opportunity to thank all the families who joined their children in participating in this event,” Saleh added

Attending the event was Awad Sami, UIPM head of the coaches committee, who praised Saleh, saying she had managed to hold a spectacular event.

Assisting Saleh was former champion Ahmed Salama, the tournament director. Interestingly, Salama, who is currently a triathlon champion, competed in the Masters, finishing first in the 30+ event.

What was also impressive in this event was the participation of 15 young athletes as volunteers, including Egypt’s World Cup champions Heidi Adel, Sherif Nazir, Nadine Reda and Ahmed Adel. “I would really like to thank them all for their contribution and the judges as well. Without them, we couldn’t have made it,” Saleh said.

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