The swimming contest is both a technical as well as a tactical event. It isn’t only your skill as a swimmer which is put to the test - after 50 metres of swimming, the competitors must hoist themselves up on the edge, get around a cone and dive back into the water.
During the second half of the race, the swimmers have to swim under two obstacles that are placed twenty-five metres apart. The obstacles look a bit like wide ladders and it’s allowed to use them to pull yourself forward under water.
Both strength and stamina are needed to be successful. Planning your race well from a tactical point of view is also important. Precious seconds can be lost both in the water as well as out of it.
Prior to the Pentathlon Championships, the Spanish team underwent a 10-day training camp.
– It is harder to compete in a 50-metre pool when you’re used to train in a pool that’s only 25 metres, concludes Spanish pentathlete Fernando Ceca. This is Ceca’s sixth year to compete in aeronautical pentathlon for Spain.
The competitors swam two and two and sometimes in tough competition for first place of their heat. The individual results show that Turkey, Finland and Norway dominated the first five places. As teams Norway won the swimming followed by Finland and Turkey.
The Spanish pentathletes are all pilots who fly either the F-18 Hornet fighter aircraft, or a transport aircraft for search and rescue missions. Depending on their duties, they get to train between two and three days a week, but seldom together as they are posted at different air bases.
Saturday’s event is the escape contest (obstacle course and orienteering), something Alberto Calvo is looking forward to as running is his favourite sport.