Xinhua General News Service, China
August 10, 2013 Saturday 10:55 AM EST

Russia invites western partners for tank biathlon competition

MOSCOW Aug. 10

Moscow has invited Western countries to participate in a newly created
sport-military crossover competition which will be held next year, a
high-ranking Russian military official said Saturday.

This year, the final competition for tank biathlon, the new sport,
will take place on Aug. 12-17 in the Alabino firing range of Moscow
region. Top tank crews from Russia, Armenia, Belarus and Kazakhstan
will participate in the game, Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov

"Next year, we would like to expand the list of participating
countries," Borisov said, adding Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has
already invited counterparts from Italy and Germany to participate in
the event.

Shoigu said Friday in Washington that the U.S. military would
participate in the tank biathlon championship in Russia in 2014.

"We have invited our counterparts to participate next year in the tank
biathlon, and they accepted gladly the invitation," Shoigu said,
adding the invitation was accepted by the U.S. Secretary of Defense
Chuck Hagel.

According to Borisov, the new sport will demonstrate high quality of
Russian armored vehicles.

In the competition, every tank has to run some 20 kilometers at fast
speed while firing targets from all weapons. On the course, a tank has
to pass ford, fence, rut bridge, high-speed sections and overtaking
passages. During the whole process, the crew remains in the firing

The competition requires crews to show professional skills such as
tank-driving, shooting and teamwork spirit.