Friday, July 8, 2016

How To Follow Graham at Modern Pentathlon Youth Worlds

For friends and family, I am posting information on how you can keep tabs on Graham as he competes at Modern Pentathlon Youth Worlds. There may even be live streaming opportunities. 

Note: You can click on each photo to make it bigger if you can't see it well.

Modern Pentathlon Primer

Not to be confused with the track and field pentathlon event, modern pentathlon includes horse riding, swimming, running, fencing and shooting. But athletes usually start, from about the age of eight, by competing in events combining just two or three of those.

Modern Pentathlon was one of the original Olympic sports and was in the first Olympic Games in 1912; since then there have been some changes with the length of events and the number of days in a competition.

A pentathlon competition begins with epee fencing, with every athlete facing off against all other competitors once. Each fencing bout is "one-touch" against each adversary in which the person who gets the touch is awarded a victory and the opponent has a defeat. Each bout can last up to one minute; while that sounds short, it can be a long time when an athlete has to fence 30 or more people.

Swimming is a 200-meter freestyle and follows fencing.

Next is the equestrian stadium jumping event which consists of approximately 15 obstacles with jumps up to 4 feet high. Each competitor draws a random horse and has 20 minutes to warm up, including 5 practice jumps, in a different arena before completing the official course. The equestrian component will be not part of the Youth Worlds competition as it is reserved for the Junior (19-21 yo) and Senior (22 and over) categories. But Graham has been riding since November of 2015 to begin training for that next phase.  

A combined running and shooting event is the final event. Athletes shoot at a laser target, needing to make five hits at 10 meters with a laser air pistol, then run an 800-meter course. This combination is completed four times, totaling a 3200 meter run and shooting 20 targets. The start of the combined is staggered based off the scores from the first three events. The athlete who crosses the finish line first is the winner, making for a very exciting end to the competition.

Youth Worlds Information

Location: The  Youth A World Championships 2016 will take place in the University of Limerick on July 14 – 18. Limerick is six hours ahead of CST back in the States. 

Venue: University of Limerick  is a university in Limerick City, County Limerick, Ireland. Established in 1972 as the National Institute for Higher Education, Limerick and became a university by statute in 1989 in accordance with the University of Limerick Act 1989. The university was the first university established since the formation of the Irish Republic in 1922. The university is located on the banks of the River Shannon, comprising of 340 acres (110 acres on the north bank and 226 acres on the south bank). The university is located just 5 km from Limerick city centre with easy bus access from around the country.

Schedule of Events:
12 July: Arrival of Delegations 
13 July: Arrival of Delegations, Equipment Control - Fencing Technical Meeting for Women’s Qualification
14 July: Women’s Qualification (Fencing Swimming Combined Event),  Equipment control - Fencing Technical Meeting for Men’s Qualification 
15 July: Men’s Qualification (Fencing Swimming Combined Event), Technical Meeting – Women’s and Men’s Final. Graham will compete on this day.
16 July: Women’s Individual Final (Swimming Fencing Ranking Round Fencing Bonus Round Combined Event), Award Ceremony 
17 July: Men’s Individual Final (Swimming Fencing Ranking Round Fencing Bonus Round Combined Event), Award Ceremony, Technical Meeting – Mixed-Relay Competition 
18 July: Mixed-Relay Final (Swimming Fencing Ranking Round Fencing Bonus Round Combined Event),  Award Ceremony
19 July: Departure of Delegations 
How To Follow Along
You can follow along by viewing live results via the UIPM web site. Once there, access "EVENTS" and then select "RESULTS" from the top tool bar. Select "UIPM Youth A World Championships".
Once there, you can click on the Men's tab and locate what Qualifying Group is the one Graham will be in. Your screen should look something like this:

Scores are updated as the event is in progress. Each qualifying group will typically have 36 total athletes.
For fencing, they will have 35 one-minute, one-touch bouts. For swimming, they will be seeded from slowest to fastest across 6 total heats. For the combined, the leading athlete will start, followed by each successive athlete with his stagger start time dependent on how far behind the leader they are.  
 The top 8 boys from each of the three qualifying groups, plus the next best 12 scores (amongst all competitors across all the groups) will make the 36-athlete final. Graham's qualification will take place on Friday (July 15). The final, for those final 36 who qualify, is on Sunday (July 17). 
UIPM also offers free live streaming at: Typically the fencing and swimming are not covered live. But check the UIPM TV site for the approximate start time of live-streaming for the combined run-shoot event. There is typically a recap of the fencing and swimming portions preceding the live telecast. I have not yet confirmed if UIPM will conduct live-streaming, but I expect they will. 
How Else to Follow
You can be friends with either Jackie (Jackie Maas) or Brian (Brian Keith Maas) on Facebook. Brian will also be on Twitter (@TriGeekAddict). Both Brian and Jackie are traveling with Graham.
UIPM is also on Facebook (UIPM - International Modern Pentathlon Federation) and Twitter (@TheUIPM)
US Modern Pentathlon is on Facebook (USAModernPentathlon) and Twitter (@USPentathlon). 
This is Graham's first Worlds competition, as he declined an invitation to 2015 Youth Worlds last year as it interfered with school. It was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 
As such, his only goals are 1) Gain Experience; 2) Gain Experience; 3) Gain Experience. He will be facing the best in the world. He will get his share of fencing victories, and also experience getting his butt kicked in swimming. And he'll be fine with it all. 
This competition is for Youth A athletes, which is the 17-18 year old category. Graham is moving up an entire age category. If there is a goal for him, he has stated he would like to finish in the Top 20 within his 36-athlete qualification group. He thinks that would be something to build on. Youth Worlds for 2017 will be held in Prague (Czech Republic) and for 2018 in Guatemala City (Guatemala).
The US pentathlete to watch this year will be Seamus Millett, of Durango (CO). Seamus reached the finals in the 2015 Youth Worlds, and we hope he's as successful at the 2016 event. Seamus is the reigning two-time US Youth A Champion. 
Seamus & Graham 
Announcement of the Youth World USA Team