Russian team has taken lead in the 2014 Tank Biathlon World Championship, kicked off yesterday at testing grounds outside Moscow.
International tank crews from 12 countries are participating in the newly introduced global military sporting event. Russia is now followed by Armenia, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, India, China, Mongolia, Kuwait, Lieutenant-General Yuri Petrov, a deputy head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s main department of combat training, said.
“A team from Venezuela finished last place due to safety violations,” Petrov, who is also the chief referee of the tournament, said adding that these were the results of the first out of three days of the competition’s individuals.
The final results will be decided after the end of the championship’s first stage, which is Individual’s Race consisting of three daily heats and runs on August 4-6.
Only three teams – from Russia, Armenia and China – managed to complete the distance without penalty laps on Monday, Petrov said.
Participants in the competition had to particularly battle three types of obstacles, namely mound, track path at mine explosion area and hillside, he said.
The biathlon runs through August 16 and is divided into three stages of three heats each, the Russian Defense Ministry said. The championship’s second stage, which is 3km Sprint, runs on August 8-9 and the third stage, which is Pursuit, runs on August 11-12.
Teams have to race through up to 20km obstacle course in Russian-made T-72B tanks, or Slingshot, according to NATO classification, and fire at targets imitating tanks and helicopters. Crews that miss a target get a penalty lap. China brought its own 96A tanks for the championship.
The Tank Biathlon, which is analogous to the Olympic biathlon discipline, was invented by the Russian military and the first competition at the international level was held in August 2013 in Alabino with the participating crews from Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia.