COVID-19 Coronavirus: National Federations adapt to ‘new normal’ as competitions resume
Starved of global competitions for most of 2020 by the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, National Modern Pentathlon Federations have been carefully managing a return to sport in recent months.
In the UIPM Newsletter (September 2020 edition) we brought you news of a four-nation competition in Poland and a flurry of development activities in New Zealand including opportunities for UIPM Para Sports athletes.
Meanwhile, organisers in many other countries have been working tirelessly to provide domestic competitions and training for athletes at all levels of the UIPM Sports Pyramid, while abiding by local health and safety guidelines designed to limit the spread of the virus.
In this article we provide updates from seven National Federations (NFs) across three continents.
In late July, a revival took place in Austria as two national competitions were held at the Kolland Topsport club in Gaal. The Austrian Biathle Championship came first on July 25, followed by the Austrian Biathle Championship on July 26. An NF spokesperson said: “All athletes looked forward to the first competition of the year and were there with full commitment.”
When the Government gave the green light for limited sports training to resume from July 15, the Bangladesh NF reacted quickly and resumed Laser Run and Fencing training every Friday starting on July 16. Nineteen athletes in the Under 14, Under 18 and Senior (20+) age groups are training under the supervision of SM Zahangir Alam Rony (Laser Run) and Fayez Ahmed (Fencing).
The roll-out of a Sports Activation Protocol has allowed the Guatemala NF to provide face-to-face training for prioritized athletes along with the virtual training that was already in place. Several Guatemala athletes including medallists from the 2019 Pan American Games took part in UIPM #LaserAllStars and the 2020 Virtual National Games in their own country on September 24-25.
As well as providing athletes and a video crew for UIPM 2020 #LaserAllStars, the Philippines NF resumed competition with a one-off ‘Triathle 2020’ event at New Ormoc City National High School Swimming Pool on September 5. There were three age categories (U12, U16 and U23) for male and female participants.
After a New Pentathlon test event in Rostov, the NF staged the Russian National Championships in Moscow from August 29 to September 6, with a full quota of individual qualification and finals, relays and team classifications. Uliana Batashova (RUS) and Alexander Lifanov (RUS) won the individual titles.
Several competitions were held in Ukraine as soon as Government restrictions allowed, with the NF arranging the National Modern Pentathlon Championships for all ages in August and a Laser Run Dynamo Open in September, which brought together youth, senior and Masters athletes.
Government restrictions meant that participation was restricted to those from the capital city Tashkent, but the newly-formed NF in Uzbekistan organized its first-ever Laser Run competitions for U13 and senior athletes at the Universal Jumping Club on August 29. Elena Osminkina and Muslim Izmaylov won the senior titles.