Skip to main content

Dawn of a discipline: Modern Pentathlon prepares to embrace Obstacle

Modern Pentathlon
  • Athletes, coaches and organisers supported in preparation for new era
  • Release of Obstacle Training Tips follows Obstacle Competition Guidelines
  • New format to debut in World Championships in July and September

UIPM has ushered in a new era for Modern Pentathlon with the release of resources integral to the introduction of the new discipline, Obstacle.

While most senior athletes remain focused on qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, which will be the last to feature Riding in Modern Pentathlon, many who are pinning their dreams on Los Angeles 2028 and Brisbane 2032 will have opportunities to sample the new-look Pentathlon in 2023.

After a series of successful test events in 2022, the new year will be the first to include Obstacle as one of the five disciplines in Modern Pentathlon, and the new discipline will feature in the following competitions:

  • UIPM 2023 Pentathlon U17 World Championships – July 12-16, Alexandria (EGY)
  • UIPM 2023 Pentathlon U19 World Championships – July 26-30, Istanbul (TUR)
  • UIPM 2023 Pentathlon Junior World Championships – September 12-17, Druskininkai (LTU).

Fencing will be the first discipline in each of those competitions, followed by Obstacle, Swimming and Laser Run.

To assist national teams with preparations for this opportunity, UIPM in December distributed the first Obstacle Discipline Competition Guidelines, which will be used to regulate the new discipline until the first Competition Rules are presented to UIPM 2024 Congress.

UIPM has now followed up with another publication called Obstacle Discipline Training Tips, complemented by a three-part video. Both can be accessed by clicking here.

Further resources are in the pipeline, including the UIPM Obstacle Catalogue, which will provide visual and technical details of the eight obstacles that will form each of the 60m-70m courses built for the various World Championships that feature the new discipline.

This will be followed by an Obstacle Module for judges under the UIPM Judges Certification Programme (JCP) and Guidelines for Competition Organisers – all scheduled to be launched before the start of the UIPM 2023 competition season.

Obstacle Discipline was added to both the UIPM Statutes and UIPM Competition Rules & Regulations by the 72nd UIPM Congress, which took place online in November 2022.

UIPM Athletes Committee Chair Yasser Hefny OLY said: “As our sport is now in a transitional phase that provides challenges as well as opportunities, I believe it’s essential to help guide nations in building a foundation for the new discipline and coordinating the training between all five disciplines.

“The educational documents and videos are beneficial and handy to satisfy this purpose. The AC assures athletes that we will work hand in hand with all parties involved to feed the community with essential educational content in a consistent, professional way.”

UIPM Coaches Committee Chair Christian Roudaut said: “Obstacle presents a lot of opportunities for development and athlete recruitment, while remaining faithful to the original premise of the sport.

“The advice and recommendations within Obstacle Training Tips should allow our community to lay the foundations for training planning to gradually adapt to the new training load.

“For all coaches, the singularity of the Obstacle event will have to be taken into account in Pentathlon training. It is a complex challenge but also an opportunity for coaches to reinvent training methodologies for our Olympic sport with a positive attitude and great enthusiasm. Together we can create a legacy of training for future generations of pentathlete.”

UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said: “Two months ago we had a historic UIPM Congress where our global community voted for change. Now the hard work is continuing as we start to implement this exciting evolution, and I am delighted to see resources from UIPM that will support the community as Obstacle becomes integrated into Modern Pentathlon.

“I thank everybody who is involved in preparations for Paris 2024 and also in the longer-term reinvention of our sport. This reform is central to our mission to not only survive in the Olympic Games, but to transform Modern Pentathlon into one of the most dynamic, accessible and popular sports in the Olympic movement.

“In all our actions we respect Pierre de Coubertin’s vision to provide the ultimate test of athletic skills in a modern sporting context.”

Upcoming events