UIPM 2018 Pentathlon World Championships: Pentathlon Stadium dream becomes reality in Mexico City (MEX)
The new and innovative Pentathlon Stadium concept is unveiled to the world today as the UIPM 2018 Pentathlon World Championships begin.
Modern Pentathlon’s finest elite athletes from almost 40 countries are primed to compete in Mexico City over the next seven days and there is a collective sense of excitement about the unique venue which has been created at the Campo Marte sports complex.
The Pentathlon Stadium, which requires a swimming pool to be built into the field of play, will be a feature of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – but Mexico City will become the first host city to trial the concept.
UIPM devised the all-in-one stadium concept with the aim of improving the spectacle of Modern Pentathlon for spectators, both on site and watching remotely, and to provide more value for media, sponsors and VIP guests.
UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said: “The idea of the Pentathlon Stadium is ‘one sport, five disciplines, one ticket, one seat … within five hours’ and we are very excited to introduce this innovative concept in partnership with our hosts here in Mexico City.
“This is a very special edition of our annual UIPM Pentathlon World Championships. Not only will the Pentathlon Stadium provide a wonderful experience for athletes and spectators and VIP guests but also for our sponsorship and media partners who do so much to support and promote our sport.
“Also, for the first time, during the Mixed Relay on September 9, we will celebrate the official Pierre de Coubertin #PentathlonDay. This new day aims to recognise the heritage of our founder, who created a new sport based on the ancient Pentathlon born in Olympia in 708 BC.
“Fifty years ago, Mexico City became the centre of the sporting world when it hosted the Summer Olympic Games. This week I hope we can recreate some of the magic of that historic occasion with high-level performances and a dramatic sporting spectacle for the world to see.”
Both of the individual world champions from 2017 – Gulnaz Gubaydullina of Russia and Jung Jinhwa of Korea – have returned to defend their titles at this important halfway point of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic cycle.
Jung (KOR) can expect to face stiff competition from the Rio 2016 Olympic gold and silver medallists, Alexander Lesun (RUS) and Pavlo Tymoshchenko (UKR), two former world champions who have a history of hitting peak form at big events.
There is likely to be a strong podium push from France, who have had a prolific 2018 season. A strong men’s team will be led by European champion Valentin Prades, 2016 world champion Valentin Belaud and world No.4 Christopher Patte.
In the women’s event, France are also likely to be competitive with an improving team led by Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist Elodie Clouvel and European champion Marie Oteiza.
Hungary are another nation who will have strong prospects in all events, spearheaded by world No.2 and 2016 world champion Sarolta Kovacs, world No.5 Tamara Alekszejev and, on the men’s side, Bence Demeter and Robert Kasza.
Due to injury, Chloe Esposito of Australia, the women’s world No.1 and Olympic champion, is unable to compete in Mexico and men’s world No.1 Jun Woongtae (KOR) is also absent. But there is an exceptional depth of talent in the field, with large teams taking part from countries such as Argentina, Belarus, China, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan and the United States.
The host nation, Mexico, also fields 12 promising athletes in the competition, all of them inspired by the Olympic bronze medal won by Ismael Hernandez Uscanga in Rio two years ago.
Two-time Olympic pentathlete Horacio De La Vega, President of the Local Organising Committee and Sports Director for the Mexico City Mayor’s office, said: “We are very happy and motivated because it has been a long time, 20 years, since we had a World Championship here and we are very pleased to have this event back in our city.
“For me, as a former pentathlete and now in a political position, managing sport in my city, this is very nice news and I’m delighted. Klaus Schormann and UIPM have given us this opportunity and entrusted us with staging the World Championships again and I’m confident the competition will be excellent.
“It’s an honour that we will be the first event to include a Pentathlon Stadium. A dream has come true.”
The action in Mexico City begins with the Women’s Relay today, with the Men’s Relay following tomorrow (September 8).
A record number of TV networks will broadcast this year’s championships - click here to find out how you can watch the action in your country.
UIPM TV will broadcast a live stream of the Mixed Relay on September 9 and the Women’s and Men’s Individual Finals on September 12 and 13 respectively.
UIPM 2018 Pentathlon World Championships schedule
(* live stream on UIPM TV)
September 7: Women’s Relay
September 8: Men’s Relay
September 9: Mixed Relay*
September 10: Women’s Individual Qualification
September 11: Men’s Individual Qualification | Women’s Individual Final Fencing Ranking Round
September 12: Women’s Individual Final* | Men’s Individual Final Fencing Ranking Round
September 13: Men’s Individual Final*