Title: The role of anthropometric characteristics in modern pentathlon performance in female athletes
Authors: Claessens, Albrecht ×
Hlatky, S
Lefevre, Johan
Holdhaus, H #
Issue Date: Aug-1994
Series Title: Journal of sports sciences vol:12 issue:4 pages:391-401
Abstract: In order to determine the role of body build characteristics in modern pentathletes, 65 female participants at the IXth World Modern Pentathlon Championships, 1989 (Wiener Neustadt, Austria) were investigated. Of these, 54 participate in the competition; the other 11 were reserves. Their mean (+/- S.D.) age was 22.34 +/- 3.97 years (range 16.08-32.58 years). Anthropometric characteristics (body mass, lengths, breadths, girths and skinfolds), somatotype and body composition estimates were determined. Compared with other female athletes (e.g. swimmers, runners, fencers), the elite modern pentathletes were rather tall (x = 168.1 cm) and, as indicated by the body mass index (x = 21.6), they had a high mass relative to their stature. Based on skinfolds, body fat was estimated as 16%, and anthropometrically determined somatotype was on average 2.5-3.9-2.8. The relationship between the athletes' anthropometric characteristics and modern pentathlon performance was investigated by means of Pearson zero-order correlations between the physical traits and the competitive performance scores. Significant correlations were found mainly for the 'fat' variables, such as skinfolds, percent fat and the endomorphy component, r varying from -0.34 to -0.58, which indicated an inverse relationship between the amount of fatness and modern pentathlon performance. To investigate this relationship further, Pearson zero-order correlations were calculated between the respective factors scores, derived from a rotated factor pattern (Varimax) carried out on selected somatic variables, and the performance scores. The results demonstrated that, in relation to anthropometric characteristics, modern pentathlon performance in females is mainly associated with the 'fat development' factor, and to a lesser degree with the 'bone-muscle development' factor. Variables representing linearity of physique seem to be unrelated to modern pentathlon performance. Stepwise regression analysis revealed that 42.4% of the variance in modern pentathlon performance can be explained by the following anthropometric variables: sum of 10 skinfolds, biacromial breadth and humerus diameter. To obtain a high level of modern pentathlon performance, it would seem that a female athlete must above all have a low level of body fatness and, to a lesser degree, a relatively high level of lean body mass.
ISSN: 0264-0414
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Exercise Physiology Research Group
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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