Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Geopolitics of the sport - some thoughts

Just some first thoughts about geopolitics of modern pentathlon. For those who follow the tour, it's not new that the Eastern European countries dominate the tour. Other European countries, like Germany, Great Britain, France and Italy also have great teams. I'd like to know what happened to the nordic/Scandinavian countries, which used to be dominant in the first half of modern pentathlon history and nowadays have just a small role in the circuit. I'm also curious how such a militarized country like Israel doesn't have any top athlete, considering the strong link the sport has with the army; I guess it's not a priority of Israeli army. On a side (and sad) note, I remember reading at UIPM newsletter the president of the Palestinian federation was killed during the last conflict in Gaza territory.
It's great that countries outside Europe are improving in the sport - special mention to Egypt, Mexico, China and South Korea. We could add to the list also United States, Japan, Canada and Brazil and basically we have all the non-European countries with competitive athletes at the present time (sorry if I'm missing any country). It's very important for the sport to grow worlwide and I think it's trailing the right way.
Since we are talking about the teams, it would be great if we have the relay and team competitions in the Olympics, and it's not just about giving more medals, like a consolation, I think the format is interesting for the public and yes, the sport deserves more medals. They used to have the team competition in Olympic Games.

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