Manatee-Sarasota region keeps adding to sports empire

June 14, 2014 

Manatee and Sarasota counties continue to gain ground in sports. Last weekend's staging of the 2014 World Cup Final sponsored by the Union International de Pentathlon Modern brought accolades -- and remark about the "raging success" of the event. Crowds flocked to the venues for the first time the event has been held in this country in 40 years.

So now, organizers have secured another pentathlon, a qualifier for the World Cup 2016 in February. The international body confirmed this region will host the sport's first World Cup of 2015 -- a fantastic time to showcase our usually wonderful winter weather.

With more than 200 athletes from 40 countries here for five days of competition -- and hopefully longer for a Florida vacation -- the region's tourism industry will get another shot in the arm.

Also this week, the city of Bradenton gave final approval to bring a Formula 2 powerboat regatta to the Manatee River. The Powerboat Super League event next February is expected to attract thousands of spectators and visitors. The two-day event will include concerts as well as BMX, water ski and jet ski shows. Cha-ching again.

But back to pentathlons. How are equestrian jumping, fencing, swimming, running and shooting even remotely connected? Credit ancient Greeks testing their warrior skills, though shooting is a more modern addition.

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