A world championship in tank biathlon has begun on the grounds of a training center of the Second Guards Tamanskaya Motor Rifle Division in Alabino in the Moscow region.
"In 2014, the tank competition will for the first time bring together crews from 12 countries: Angola, Armenia, Belarus, Venezuela, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Kuwait, Mongolia, Russia and Serbia," said a spokesperson for the Russian Defense Ministry.
Over 20 states have sent in their delegations as observers, the spokesperson said.
According to the Ministry, each country is represented by four crews: three main ones and one backup. Almost all competitors will be competing on Russian T-72B tanks. Russia has readied over 60 tanks for the competition.
The tanks are dyed in four types of camouflage color, chiefly of the yellow, red, blue and green hues. The yellow tanks will be used by the performing teams from Angola, Kuwait and India, the blue ones by Kazakhstan, Armenia and Belarus, the red ones by Mongolia, Russia and Venezuela, and the green ones by Serbia, China and Kyrgyzstan.
The championship will be held in four stages.
The first one - an individual race - will be held from August 4 through 6. August 4 will see the first crews competing in three races with four tanks in each. The first race will include tank crews from Angola, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Serbia. The Russian national team will be performing in the second race along with teams from China, Kuwait and Armenia. The first day of the championship will end with a race among the crews from India, Belarus, Venezuela and Kyrgyzstan. The individual race envisages a seven-kilometer three-round itinerary.
The second stage - the sprint - will be held on August 8-9. The sprint distance, as is traditional in biathlon, will be the shortest one: three kilometers. It will be this stage that will set the sequence and temporary start-time gap in the pursuit race.
The third stage - the pursuit race - will be held on August 11-12. This type of biathlon race will be based on the results of the sprint (individual start) race.
The final stage will see the first four teams resulting from all three stages identifying the winner during a relay race. Three crews from each national team will make three four-kilometer rounds on one tank (with crew replacement).
The championship will end with a relay race on August 16.
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