The behemoths of the World Tank Biathlon

Tank teams from 12 countries competed in speed and shooting competition

World Tank Biathlon
Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

When you think of a biathlon you usually envision chiseled athletes not big lumbering tanks. But at last week’s World Tank Biathlon, bigger and bulkier was better. The tank biathlon requires each steel behemoth to cover around 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) in the shortest time possible while shooting at various targets and making it through a variety of obstacles. Armenia, Kazakhstan, China, Serbia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, India, Mongolia and Kuwait all competed in the challenge which Russia ultimately won.

World Tank Biathlon
Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

Parachutists carrying the national flags of participants take part in a ceremony at the Tank Biathlon world championship in Alabino outside Moscow.

World Tank Biathlon
Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

The tank competition, where teams compete in tests of driving and shooting.

World Tank Biathlon
Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

The competition featured teams from 12 countries: Angola, Armenia, Belarus, Venezuela, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Kuwait, Mongolia, Russia and Serbia.

World Tank Biathlon
Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

A tank drives on the course of the Tank Biathlon world championship.

World Tank Biathlon
Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

A tank drives on the course of the Tank Biathlon world championship in Alabino outside Moscow.

World Tank Biathlon
Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

Tanks drive through a water obstacle course.

World Tank Biathlon
Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

A tank pushes up a hill on the biathlon course.

World Tank Biathlon
Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

A tank pushes it on a straightaway.

World Tank Biathlon
Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

A tank drives through a water obstacle.

World Tank Biathlon
Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

Getting ready to fire.

World Tank Biathlon
Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

A tank fires at a target on the course.

World Tank Biathlon
Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

A tank is parked on a pontoon on the course of the Tank Biathlon.

World Tank Biathlon
Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

Decorations on the Tank Biathlon world championship course.

World Tank Biathlon
Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

Another good look at one of the tanks driving on the biathlon course.

World Tank Biathlon
Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

Participating tanks gather during the Tank Biathlon world championship.

World Tank Biathlon
Credit: YouTube.com

A video of the 2014 tank biathlon. 

World Tank Biathlon
Credit: YouTube.com

A video from the 2013 event.