China gunning for modern pentathlon medal at Rio Olympics

Chinese athletes are in Brazil, preparing for the second stage of the Modern Pentathlon World Cup, in the venue which will host this event in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The Chinese delegation is led by deputy head of the National Cycling Center and Fencing of the Sports Administration of China, Xu Haifeng. He said he had been studying the venue, the environmental conditions, the land, the types of horses used and the organization of the tournament. Xu stated he was also depending on a strong performance by 8 athletes, 6 of which have qualified for the final.

Xu said he found differences in the types of horses and the type of track as compared to China. The horses in Brazil were very tall and strong while the field was small, with many high turns. However, he said that the team had practiced on these obstacles and would seek to beat the silver medal China got in London in 2012.

(Soundbite, Mandarin) Xu Haifeng, Deputy director of the National Center for Cycling and Fencing
“The stadium, built especially for the Olympic Games, is at the Olympic standard. However, this time the International Modern Pentathlon Union wants to make the game more attractive. Therefore, horse racing, race and shooting are in the same field. The fencing and swimming events will take place on one side of the arena, making the entire competition easier for athletes and spectators to take part in.”

In late May, the final athletes who will represent China at the Olympic Games in August will be decided. Xu Haifeng, a former champion shot, said the Chinese team would attend the fourth stage of the Modern Pentathlon World Cup in Hungary in next April and would take part at the World Championships in Moscow, Russia, in May.

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