3rd Mediterranean Beach Games: Triathle wins admirers during successful debut on Pierre de Coubertin Pentathlon Day
- History on sands of Heraklion (GRE) as first medallists of Games are crowned
- Reboisson (FRA) and Tromboni (ITA) stand tall as five nations reach podium
- President Schormann leads annual celebrations in memory of founder
The historic island of Crete provided a fitting backdrop as UIPM Sports made its debut in the Mediterranean Beach Games on Pierre de Coubertin Pentathlon Day.
With its exciting mix of Swimming, Running and Laser Shooting, Triathle is a perfect fit for oceanside multi-sport events and recently featured in the Asian Beach Games and Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
On September 9/10 it proved to be an instant match with the Mediterranean as two Individual finals and a Mixed Relay entertained fans in the capital of the Greek island of Crete. The Mediterranean Beach Games was introduced in 2015 and this 3rd edition has been the biggest yet, with more than 1500 athletes from 26 nations taking part in 13 sports. The 4th Mediterranean Beach Games will take place in Portimao (POR) in 2027.
It was especially fitting that the Men’s and Women’s Triathle Finals took place on September 9, when the Modern Pentathlon community marked the legacy of founder Baron Pierre de Coubertin with a range of online and offline celebrations.
Clemence Reboisson of France and Emanuele Tromboni of Italy put in performances that the founder of the modern Olympic Games would have admired as they were crowned Women’s and Men’s champions, respectively, claiming the first two gold medals of Mediterranean Beach Games Heraklion 2023 in the process.
Many dignitaries from the competing nations as well as the International Committee of the Mediterranean Games (ICMG) were among the crowds that watched the Triathle competition on the opening day.
The action took place on the sands and in the seas of Heraklion’s Ammoudara Beach, where conditions provided a challenge with strong winds, testing waves and soft sand underfoot. But upwards of 30 competitors proved up to the challenge as they represented eight nations (Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal).
Reboisson (FRA) was victorious in the Women’s Final with silver going to Alice Rinaudo (ITA) and Lea Fernandez (FRA) claiming bronze. In the Men’s Final, Duarte Taleigo of Portugal earned silver as he finished runner-up to Tromboni (ITA). Bronze was secured by Nikolas Papadimitriou of the host nation, Greece.
On September 10, France claimed its second gold when Fernandez (FRA) teamed up with compatriot Ugo Fleurot (FRA) for victory. Silver went to the Italians, with Egypt taking bronze to ensure five of the competing nations made it on to the medal table.
Women’s champion Reboisson (FRA) said: “It is an honour for me to become the first gold medal winner at the 3rd Mediterranean Beach Games Heraklion 2023!
“It was a very tough race. My goal was the first place, just as I had done in the European Championships. I had a bad round in shooting, so in the last round I knew that I had to make five out of five shots and move very quickly, in order for me to return to the top spot. Then I did the last Running lap very fast and everything was OK for me.”
Silver medallist Rinaudo (ITA) said: “I came here to do my best and search for the victory, but I am very happy with the second place. I fought until the end and I did everything I could.
“I tried to push Clemence in the last running lap, but I was really without energy. The atmosphere was great, I really enjoyed it. It was a good competition and it is very nice to be here in Greece.”
Bronze medallist Fernandez (FRA) added: “I did very well in Running and Swimming, but I was horrible in Shooting. Still, I’m pleased with the 3rd place and the bronze medal that I won, because it is an improvement for me after the 4th place at the UIPM 2022 Triathle World Championships in Madeira.”
Men’s champion Tromboni (ITA) said: “I’m very happy for this victory. The beginning wasn’t good for me and I was among the last athletes, but I was confident that I would be able to finish very strong.
“I like the vibe and the location here. This is a new experience for me, my first medal in an international competition. I couldn’t ask for more.”
Runner-up Taleigo (POR) added: “I am very pleased with myself. This time I managed to do a great shooting, it was almost perfect and I think that it made all the difference for me.
“Overall the competition was pretty hard, the athletes were very good and the level was high. The conditions of the course were hard, trying to get through the big waves and the wind, but finally it paid off.”
Bronze medallist Papadimitriou (GRE) said: “To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to win a medal here. I didn’t expect to be so consistent in Shooting, due to the strong wind, but since I did well in Shooting I managed to perform well in Running and Swimming, too.”
Mixed Relay champion Fleurot (FRA) said: “It is the first time that I compete in Triathle and it was really tough for me. Especially running in the sand was challenging for me.
“I wanted to win for my teammate Lea Fernandez and I am happy we made it. I am also proud that three French teams finished in the three top spots, although only one could earn a medal.”
Silver medallist Tromboni (ITA) added: “The weather conditions were tougher today and we also had to overcome tiredness, but I had a strong partner, so we had the idea of winning a medal since the beginning. It was a 50-50 effort, we earned it together.”
Habiba Ramadan (EGY), bronze medallist, said: “I am so excited for this medal! I wasn’t expecting that because the competition was very hard. This is the first international competition medal for me. Everything here in Heraklion is great, we are happy to be here.”
Sharif El-Erian (UIPM VP, SG of NOC Egypt); Davide Tizzano (ICMG President); Dr. Klaus Schormann (UIPM President); Alain Lunzenfichter (ICMG Board Member)
UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said: “It has been wonderful to see Triathle so well received in its debut at the Mediterranean Beach Games in recent days. I commend our colleagues at the ICMG and local organisers, volunteers and the city government here in Heraklion for a very successful competition.
“I was pleased to welcome Mr Davide Tizzano, the President of ICMG, as well as many NOC Presidents who visited our competition over the past two days. They were all intrigued and impressed with our sport of Triathle, which is a great fit for multi-sport events, particularly Beach Games.
“Many of our guests told me they will be happy to support for the future inclusion of Triathle in further editions of the Mediterranean Beach Games.”
UIPM Pierre de Coubertin Pentathlon Day
Five years after it was inaugurated during the UIPM 2018 World Championships in Mexico City (MEX), UIPM Pierre de Coubertin Pentathlon Day was again celebrated on 9 September.
UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said: “Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games and creator of Modern Pentathlon, was inspired by the ancient Olympic Games. He was guided by its spirit and during his lifetime focused always on the time to come.
“We in the Modern Pentathlon society cherish carry this forward day by day – his philosophy is a part of our DNA.
“Through ongoing innovation we are modernising our multi-sport, taking care of Coubertin’s legacy and celebrating his heritage, promoting the interests of young generations in a never-ending evolution.
“The yearly celebration of Pierre de Coubertin Pentathlon Day on 9 September is a legacy in itself. On this day our sport made its first appearance in the Mediterranean Beach Games, which by poetic coincidence took place in Greece – the ancient home of the Olympic Games.”
Yasser Hefny OLY, Chair of the UIPM Athletes Committee, added: “Pierre de Coubertin Day is very special to all who love sports, particularly the Modern Pentathlon family. He is the great man who gave all worldwide sports fans the most beautiful month we experience every four years, the month of the Olympic Games, which is full of fun, excitement, challenge, and intense emotion.
“Coubertin is the one who was able to create an event that equalises all races and ethnicities. I am sure that if he were with us now, he would be proud of our progress in our sport to keep up with the new trends and the evolution of sports fans’ general way of thinking and evaluation.”
Alexandra de Navacelle de Coubertin, UIPM Pierre de Coubertin Commission Member, said: “Pierre de Coubertin believed that the Modern Pentathlon captured the essence of the Olympic spirit because it required athletes to excel in a variety of athletic and intellectual disciplines. The five components of the modern pentathlon tested an athlete's physical fitness, mental toughness, adaptability, and versatility.
“UIPM are doing an incredible job at keeping the spirit and intention of this discipline alive by constantly adapting it to modern days, improving its format and introducing ongoing innovative solutions to make it more accessible and in touch with its time.”