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New Pentathlon Discipline Test Event II: All you need to know

Modern Pentathlon
  • Athletes from Asia and Oceania set for first taste of Obstacle Discipline
  • Participants from nine nations gather in Manila (PHI)
  • Event running in parallel with Asian leg of Ninja World Cup

Athletes from Asia and Oceania will spend the next two days acquainting themselves with Obstacle Discipline as the transformation of Modern Pentathlon continues to take shape.

Pentathletes and obstacle specialists from nine countries have signed up to participate in New Pentathlon Discipline Test Event II in Manila (PHI). After the competition they will be invited to provide feedback on their experience along with coaches and observers. Among those present will be officials from the Asian Modern Pentathlon Confederation (AMPC).

The test event will be held at Bridgetowne Central Park on August 6-7 in parallel with the Asian leg of the Ninja World Cup, run by the Pilipinas Obstacle Sports Federation (POSF) in collaboration with World Obstacle (FISO).

Two courses have been built side by side for the parallel events, situated beside the Bridgetowne Obstacle Park. The 6,000 square-metre facility, set to open in the next two months, will be the biggest permanent obstacle facility of its kind in the world and will give athletes a state-of-the-art training and competition venue. The POSF is recognised by the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission.

As in the successful Test Event I in Ankara (TUR) in June, the first day will consist of a practical explanation and free training session (9am-12pm), followed by a second day of qualification heats and finals in all categories (9am-12pm).

A bespoke course has been built on site, comprised of the following 10 obstacles:

  1. Archer steps
  2. Sonic swing
  3. 2.0m A-wall
  4. Double tilting ladders
  5. Balance beam
  6. Wheels
  7. 1.5m wall
  8. Ring swing
  9. Giant steps
  10. Warped wall

Participants in the technical meeting

UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said: “The New Pentathlon Discipline Test Event II in Manila, held in conjunction with the Ninja World Cup, will provide another opportunity for athletes to provide clear and definitive input about the future direction and format of our sport.

“Since the very successful Test Event I in Ankara, we have seen more approval ratings for Obstacle Discipline increase and opposition to it decrease, as more athletes become familiar with the format and benefits of the new discipline.

“The competition in Manila is especially important because of the size and opportunity of the Asian market; nine nations will be represented here. Thanks to the accessibility of obstacle to athletes across all demographics, we anticipate incredible growth in Asia, which holds more than half of the world’s population.

“I would like to thank the Philippine Modern Pentathlon Association under the leadership of Richard Gomez, the Pilipinas Obstacle Sports Federation and its President, Alberto Agra, the Asian Modern Pentathlon Confederation represented by Vice President Cassandro Choh, and also FISO and its President, Ian Adamson.”

AMPC Vice-President Cassandra Choh, also President of the Singapore Modern Pentathlon Association, said: “I am delighted to be in Manila for the second Test Event of the new Obstacle Discipline for Modern Pentathlon.

“Exciting times are ahead for the growth of our sport to reach new heights for the global community, especially for our youth. This new Obstacle Discipline is very popular and is as exhilarating to watch as it is for our pentathletes to be part of. After a successful first test in Ankara, I’m sure it will be another fantastic one this weekend!”

AMPC Secretary General Sangkeong Yeo said: “In the name of the Asian Modern Pentathlon Confederation (AMPC), we welcome all of you here for Test Event II in Manila.

“As you know, we are going to embrace a new version of our sport, Modern Pentathlon together with an obstacle event. We believe that we are heading for the right direction for the next generation, as this change will make our sport more appealing and universal to the public all around the world. Thanks to the UIPM for taking the initiative in this movement and also Philippines Modern Pentathlon Association who are helping us.”

FISO President Ian Adamson said: “Asia is a strong and rapidly growing market for obstacle sports and Manila hosted the first obstacle medal events in a Games recognised by the International Olympic Committee during the 2019 SEA Games. TBS Tokyo Broadcasting System’s mega-hit TV show SASUKE – which led to American Ninja Warrior Junior, Ninja versus Ninja, and Team Ninja Warrior originated in the region and this event will include obstacles seen in these shows.”

Obstacle Discipline is in the midst of an intensive pilot phase as a potential addition to Modern Pentathlon for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games. After the successful Test Event I in Ankara (TUR) on June 27-28, the action switches to Asia this week with Test Event II in Manila (PHI), and Test Event III has been scheduled for September 9-10 in Lignano Sabbiadoro (ITA) with a special focus on youth participants.

Obstacle Discipline was selected in May 2022 for testing as UIPM explores the possibility of integrating the globally popular racing concept into Modern Pentathlon after Paris 2024.

At the end of the testing and evaluation phase, UIPM 2022 Congress will vote on proposals for the LA28 Modern Pentathlon format to be submitted to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Participants in Test Event I gave the event a resounding seal of approval in their answers to an official survey. More than nine out of 10 participating pentathletes (92%) and observers (93%) said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall Test Event experience.

Athletes, coaches and observers involved in Test Event II will also be invited to complete a survey about their experience during the two-day event, and these views will inform and shape future tests.

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