The Chinese team maintained its advantage on the third day of the International Army Games (IAG) 2017 in Korla, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on Wednesday, and the audience attendance was surprisingly bigger that the organizer's expectation.
The Chinese team staged an outstanding performance in the "Safe Environment" individual race, a competition on nuclear-biological-chemical (NBC) reconnaissance. Crews from China, Russia, Iran, Egypt and Belarus attended the race.
Each crew sent two groups of people to drive two NBC reconnaissance vehicles - China-made Yongshi military off-road vehicle - to cross barriers and obstacles in a 3.8-kilometer-long circular racing track, with crew members required to finish NBC reconnaissance and clearance missions.
Before the terminal point, all crew members needed to get off the vehicle and cross a 550-meter-long obstruction zone with barriers like ropeway, net wall, deep hole, scaling ladder and single-log bridge.
"The race is very different from situations in real combat - crew members would not use real NBC weapons. But the race can test crew members' technique, agility, will power and physical power, said Colonel Ma Guojie, head of the Chinese team.
The Global Times reporter saw on Wednesday that the first group of the Chinese team came from the Xinjiang military region under the Western Theater Command of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), and they finished the race in 9 minutes 23 seconds, which was the fastest. The second Chinese group from the Beijing Garrison took 11 minutes. Crews from other countries used more than 20 minutes to finish the race.
"We are too familiar with the barriers and the vehicle due to trainings in few months. I can even drive the vehicle to cross all barriers with my eyes closed. But the mission required teamwork, which means that without an excellent performance by all group members, we couldn't achieve this result," said Sonam Dorje, 21, the driver of the first Chinese crew who is from the Tibet Autonomous Region.
The final result had not been announced as of the press time because the multinational referee team needed to watch the replay of the race to calculate the final result.
The IAG is an annual event, which was founded by Russia in 2015. This year is the first time that the IAG is partly hosted by the PLA in Xinjiang and Jilin Province.
And Tan Yingshuai, the spokesperson of the PLA Army, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the audience for the game was surprisingly bigger than the organizer's expectation. "On the Army Day [Tuesday], 7,000 people came to watch the game. There was no publicity before the game as the location is far from the town at a military training base in the Gobi Desert, so we thought there would be a maximum of 2,000 spectators," said Tan.