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Europeans Take Top Honors at Military Pentathlon

By Doug Gillert
American Forces Press Service

SAN ANTONIO, Texas, Nov. 21, 1996 – A sergeant in the Hungarian navy, the team from Russia and three policemen from Milan, Italy, topped all competitors in the 27th annual international military modern pentathlon here Nov. 1617.

Sponsored by the Conseil International du Sport Militaire, pentathlon events included air pistol shooting, fencing, swimming and crosscountry running at Fort Sam Houston, and equestrian jumping at the San Antonio Rose Palace. Thirtytwo military athletes competed from 11 countries, including the United States, whose members train at Fort Sam Houston.

Americans Jim Gregory, Fred Eaton and Scott Christie competed for the United States. Gregory placed sixth, while Eaton finished 18th.

Gabor Balogh, 21, of Budapest, Hungary, scored a perfect 1,100 points in the equestrian jumping event. In addition, he was first in shooting (1,144 points), second in fencing (1,000 points) and fourth in swimming (1,280 points). Balogh's combined point total of 5,501.56 gave him the individual title.

Zbynek Ambroz, 26, of the Czech Republic, placed second with 5,403.17 points. Mikhail Bonderev, a Russian silver medalist in the Olympics last summer, took third place with 5,365.94 points. Russia won the team competition by amassing 15,820.73 points, followed by the Czechs and Italians. The United States finished sixth.

During threemember team relay competition, three military policemen from Italy stumbled to fifth and fourth place, respectively, in shooting and fencing, before rallying in the final three events. Fabio Nebuloni, Stefano Gimmoni and Michele Diberandino took third in the swim relay with 1,048 points, moving them into fourth place overall before the start of the 6,000meter cross country relay. Crossing the finish line at 19 minutes, 48 seconds, they advanced to second place overall, 212 points behind the Czech Republic going into the final relay event, equestrian jumping.

Riding consistently, Italy finished third with 1,010 points. Their 4,981.98 total points gave them the overall win. Hungary finished second overall with 4,910.98 points, while the Czechs took third place with 4,856.64 points. Russia finished fourth with 4,799.74 points, and the United States took fifth place with 4,766.66 points.

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