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New 5th Discipline update: Test event launched

Modern Pentathlon
  • Pentathletes and Obstacle Discipline specialists invited to Ankara (TUR)
  • Mouth-watering prospect for athletes dreaming of LA28 Olympic glory
  • Racers set to compete up to 100m course with up to 10 obstacles

Pentathletes of all ages and Obstacle Discipline specialists have been invited to sample the future of Modern Pentathlon.

In the biggest shake-up of the Olympic sport in its 110-year history, Obstacle Discipline is poised to replace Riding after the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Now athletes have been invited to run, walk, climb, crawl, slither, scramble or otherwise propel themselves to the finish line of a bespoke course in Ankara (TUR) next month.

If approved in UIPM 2022 Congress, the change promises to reduce the cost and complexity of Modern Pentathlon at the Olympic Games, adding to the commercial value of Los Angeles 2028 and future Games. It promises to make the sport more exciting to watch and more globally accessible, popular and sustainable.

UIPM’s New 5th Discipline Test Event will take place on June 27-28, immediately after the UIPM 2022 Pentathlon World Cup Final – and in the same Pentathlon Stadium.

The standalone Obstacle Discipline competition will involve two to four athletes racing each other over a course up to 100 metres long, with up to 10 obstacles.

There will be separate categories for Under 19, Junior and Senior pentathletes – and another for experienced Obstacle Discipline athletes.

It is a mouth-watering prospect for the world’s most versatile athletes, with obstacles chosen in collaboration with World Obstacle (FISO) featuring in the course set to include:

  • Ascending steps
  • Rope swing
  • 1.5m wall
  • Monkey bars
  • Offset steps
  • 0.5m low crawl
  • Rings rig
  • Under-over-under-over
  • Wheels rig
  • Balance beam
  • Angled ladders
  • Finish ‘Tsunami’ curved wall

Invitations were issued today and the test event is expected to draw global interest. Seventy-two elite pentathletes will already be in Ankara (TUR) for one of the showpiece events of the season, while the historic test is sure to attract younger athletes dreaming of Olympic glory at Los Angeles 2028 and beyond.

Obstacle specialists – who now have a roadmap to the Olympic Games if they can add Fencing, Swimming and Laser Run into their repertoire – will also be eager to demonstrate their athleticism and expertise in Ankara (TUR).

The two-day schedule is as follows:

  • June 27: Practical explanation / free training session
  • June 28: Qualification / Finals

The launch of the test event comes after two variations of Obstacle Discipline were selected for testing after leading over 60 proposals in the race to replace Riding as the New 5th Discipline in Modern Pentathlon.

In reaching its decision, the New 5th Discipline Working Group rigorously followed the 13 established criteria. The selection considered athletes’ views, medical aspects (including workload, injuries and anti-doping), TV, media and marketing opportunities.

Taking into account the IOC requirements for the programme of the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games, the Obstacle Discipline was selected for the following reasons including:

  • popularity among all age groups including youth
  • universal participation with great accessibility around the world
  • dynamic and attractive to global audiences
  • compatible with the DNA of Modern Pentathlon, which exists to examine the complete athlete
  • simple infrastructure for training and sustainable for organisers worldwide

Following comprehensive testing, a final decision about the New 5th Discipline will be taken by the UIPM Congress.

The introduction of the new discipline to Modern Pentathlon after Paris 2024, along with the complete reassessment of the sport, is designed to ensure the future of a sport created especially for the Olympic Games by Baron Pierre de Coubertin.

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