Chinese women on top at Military Pentathlon Worlds

Updated: 2010-08-31 10:06
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RHEDEN/SCHAARSBERGEN, Netherlands - The Chinese women took over the first place in the individual standings of the Military Pentathlon World Championships on Monday.

After the obstacle swimming contest Cadet Zhang Xue grabbed the lead and later on second lieutenant Liu Kun stood on the top of the podium.

The days of heavy rain and strong winds were not over yet in the Netherlands. It makes the military world championships even tougher than usual. No pleasant sunny circumstances at all during the outdoor swimming event for men and women in Rheden and the hand-grenade throwing contest for women in Schaarsbergen.

Warrant officer Hanna Kopachenya of Belarus captured gold in the swimming event with a winning time of 28.4 seconds. Brazilian Sergeant Naiana Freire finished second in 29.1 and Russian Warrant officer Julia Naumova secured a bronze medal.

The fourth and fifth place were reserved for Liu Kun and Zhang Xue, Cadet Gong Yanyan became ninth and Major Tian Linna ended 12th. In the general ranking after two events Zhang took over from Captain Hanna Unukava of Belarus.

"I was a little bit nervous, but I tried to focus on my technique and think about other things," Zhang told Xinhua. "I tried to calm myself and it worked. But I don't want to look back anymore and concentrate on the coming events. I am happy with my standing, but I want to stay focussed on every action and get further event by event. I will do everything I can to become champion."

The Chinese men are so far performing in the shadow of their female compatriots. However, captain He Shugan was close to winning the obstacle swimming event, but was passed by three swimmers in the final heats. Danish First Corporal Brian Dasbjerg was fastest in 25.4 seconds and Russian captain Igor Egorov and German staff sergeant Thomas Sigl shared second position.

Chinese first lieutenant Wang Xiaokang posted an 11th spot and Cadet Chen Xueming set the 18th time. Cadet Hu Weixue (46), cadet Wang Maolin (53) and cadet Xiang Yuan (60) finished outside the premier places.

The Russian team won the team swimming ranking and lead the competition after three events. China's fifth place in the swimming event made them move into the eighth position in the overall ranking.

In the individual general ranking, Finland's Topi Hellsten kept the lead. He Shugan (14) leads the Chinese delegation before Hu Weixue (35), Wang Maolin (37), Xiang Yuan (51), Chen Xueming (53) and Wang Xiaokang (60).

The men took some rest after the swimming battle in Rheden, but the women had little time to recline. Liu Kun showed abundant energy and moved on by winning the throwing contest. Gong Yanyan finished fourth and Zhang Xue lost her top position due to a sixth score. Tian Linna finished 16th.

China strengthened its leading position in the team ranking by finishing second behind Russia in the swimming competition and earning gold in the throwing contest.

With four participants in the first 11 China dominates the individual ranking as well. Liu Kun leads, Russian warrant officer Julia Naumova is on course for silver and Zhang Xue is the current number three. Gong Yanyan (7) and Tian Linna (11) will try to get near the podium tomorrow, when the obstacle course on the ground is scheduled for both men and women.