International training camps update
The COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic continues to enforce profound limitations on training and competitions across most of the Modern Pentathlon world, but in some countries a degree of international collaboration has been possible.
As the global community approaches the start of the 2021 season with Olympic qualification still firmly on the agenda for hundreds of pentathletes aiming to reach the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, multi-lateral training possibilities were created in February in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Poland among other countries.
Janusz Peciak, Montreal 1976 Olympic champion and UIPM Executive Board Member for Sport, said: “These preparatory training camps sent a positive message that some international collaboration is still possible when well-organised camps can be arranged in a way that respects health and safety.
“I am sure that all athletes preparing for the Olympic qualification competitions in 2021 have been training hard in their own countries, with as much facility access as possible, but nothing compares to the intensity of an international training camp so it has been great to see these camps happening.”
Three nations team up in Antalya (TUR)
National coaches from three countries have hailed the success of a hugely successful training camp that brought together 21 athletes from Turkey, Germany and Belarus.
One of Turkey’s largest sports facilities, the Gloria Sports Arena in Antalya, hosted the trilateral camp, conquering the adversity brought by the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic to help athletes in their preparations for the 2021 Olympic Games season.
Elite pentathletes such as Anastasiya Prokopenko (BLR), Ilke Ozyuksel (TUR) and Fabian Liebig (GER) to train alongside athletes of a similar calibre from other nations – something that has been largely impossible throughout the pandemic.
The national coaches of all three participating nations were full of praise for the quality of the training arranged in Antalya (TUR).
Kim Raisner (GER) said: “I think international training camps with other nations are very important, especially in Fencing – to have Fencing partners.
“That’s the main reason why we try to organise these camps, and in the Olympic year it’s even more important. You need to train for Fencing against other pentathletes.”
Ertan Yilmaz (TUR) said: “For high-class athletes to achieve success in the international arena they need camps like these.
“Especially in some sports like Fencing or Shooting, our athletes benefit from training with other pentathletes, and learning their tactics and game systems is an advantage for us.”
Waldemar Marek de Makay (BLR) said: “It was a big surprise for me that the Turkish organisers arranged very good competition, in very good conditions. We trained together with Turkey and Germany at a very good level.
“The most important thing here is that everything is in one place. Also the weather is not too cold, not too hot. We might come back in June after the World Championships. I had planned to go to Cyprus or Portugal, but I like this place.”
Samy Awad (EGY), Member of the UIPM Coaches Committee who also attended the camp, added: “The purpose of having an international camp in Modern Pentathlon is to get the chance for training and exchanging experiences between athletes and coaches, especially in the technical events such as Fencing and Laser Run .
“Some of the highest-ranked athletes in the world from the three countries participated in this camp and that gave the camp great value – also the camp was held in one of the most beautiful cities, Antalya, which is characterized by its wonderful weather during this time of the year.
“Plus we had the highest standard of sports facilities and healthy meals given during training with great support from the Turkish Modern Pentathlon Federation President, Mr Veli Ozan, who provided all the capabilities and equipment to make the camp happen.”
Czech men enjoy winter trip to Dubai (UAE)
A five-strong contingent of elite male pentathletes from Czech Republic escaped freezing conditions in Europe to attend a training camp in Dubai (UAE).
The camp took place from February 8-20 at the Hamdan Sports Complex, one of the biggest multi-sport training facilities in the world.
The elite Czech athletes in attendance were Jan Kuf, Martin Vlach, Marek Grycz, Ondrej Polivka and David Kindl, and they were accompanied in training by eight Czech junior fencers.
Top-class Fencing preparation in Spala (POL)
In Poland, the national Modern Pentathlon team also focused on Fencing with a multi-lateral training camp at the Olympic Centre in Spala (POL).
To ensure the highest possible standard of Fencing, the organisers invited a team from Venezuela including the London 2012 Olympic epee champion, Ruben Limardo (VEN).
The Olympic Centre in Spala – situated 120km from Warsaw Airport – boasts world-class facilities including a 25m indoor swimming pool, a 200m indoor running track, a fencing hall and shooting range and extensive outdoor facilities. A major equestrian centre at Boguslawice is 25 minutes’ drive away.