Make Friends, Not War - Aeronautical Pentathlon
Updated 10:27, 11-Oct-2019
By Han Bin, Huang Xiaodong

The Aeronautical Pentathlon is gaining popularity in many armies as an effective way to train and measure the fighting capabilities of the air force. CGTN crew had exclusive access to Team China's fencing and swimming practice.

Fencing, a sport for body and mind

"In fencing, you need to use your brain to trick your opponent. Attack, feint, feint, attack. It's so satisfying to score a hit. Our coach stresses: The best defense is offense," says Cheng Xin.

The 21-year-old says fencing requires high technical skills. But it's even more testing on athlete's psychological capacities. For Cheng, it doesn't matter the outcome, she will try her best until the very last moment. 

Cheng Xin takes a photo for CGTN. /CGTN Photo

Cheng Xin takes a photo for CGTN. /CGTN Photo

The PLA Air Force set up the Aeronautical Pentathlon Team only four years ago. Wuhan will be its Military World Games debut. Aside from the flight competition, the Aeronautical Pentathlon has six events: Shooting, fencing, orientation, basketball, obstacle course, and swimming. The top five scores are counted.

Exclusive for air forces

"Soldiers are born to fight. If you're not at your peak in training, then what about on the battlefield?" asks Ye Bangwu.

The 26-year-old says he wants to show the world the best image of the Chinese soldiers. Ye says his biggest dream is to stand on the highest place in the podium. He says soldiers should stand on such a stage to pursue honor and fight for it.

Ye Bangwu during interview with CGTN. /CGTN Photo

Ye Bangwu during interview with CGTN. /CGTN Photo

Air operations require accuracy, speed, and agility. Training for the Aeronautical Pentathlon is the same as for combat. 

And it goes well beyond physical fitness. Cheng Xin and Ye Bangwu, along with the other teammates, know they will face their toughest opponents in Wuhan. Their performance could be another representation of today's intensified PLA combat training.