The Gambia Modern Pentathlon Federation in collaboration with the National Inter-Departmental Sports Association (NISA) are lifting two athletes to take part in the African/ Oceania Pentathlon championship in Egypt. The competition starts in Cairo from 29 August to 2 September. The event is also serving as qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
The athletes Ebrima Jatta and Ebrima M.S. Jarju leave town tomorrow for Cairo and are expected back on 3 September
The two are selected from the Gambia Armed Forces. They are part of the Gambian delegation led by the president of the Gambia Pentathlon Federation Saikou B. Jarju.
A pentathlon is an athletics contest featuring five events. The very first pentathlon was documented in ancient Greece and was part of the Ancient Olympic Games. In the Ancient Olympic Games, the five events were the long jump, javelin throwing, discus throwing, stadion (a running race), and wrestling.
The name comes from two Greek words, ‘Pente’ which means five, and ‘athlon’ which means competition.
Athletes who took part in a pentathlon were considered to be very skilled. They sometimes used them as training for soldiers who were about to go into battle.
In the 1912 Summer Olympic Games, the pentathlon returned in two different forms:
The athletics pentathlon – This consisted of a modern variation of the ancient pentathlon. It included five different track and field events and could be a combination of any, but in 1912 it included the long jump, javelin throw, 200-metre sprint, discus throw and 1500 metres. This event featured in 1920 and 1924 Summer Games but was later discontinued.
The modern pentathlon – This was designed by a man named Pierre de Coubertin, who is known as the Father of the Modern Olympics. This version was a variation of the military aspects of the ancient pentathlon. It focused on the skills that a soldier in the late 19th century would need such as, swimming, shooting, fencing, equestrianism and cross-country running. The men’s competition has been held at every Olympic Games since 1912, and in the Summer 2000 Games, a women’s modern pentathlon was introduced.