New Pentathlon Discipline Test Event II: A whole new thriller in Manila (PHI)
- Athletes from Asia and Oceania revel in Obstacle Discipline experience
- Newcomers and specialists race over spectacular Ninja-style course
- ‘It’s more accessible for everyone,’ says pentathlete Piamonte (PHI)
Obstacle Discipline has moved a step closer to global outreach with the successful running of New Pentathlon Discipline Test Event II.
More than 120 athletes from nine countries across Asia and Oceania gathered in Manila (PHI) to race across six categories – four for pentathletes and two for obstacle specialists. As in Test Event I in Ankara (TUR), no injuries were reported except hand blisters.
The two-day event was run alongside the Asian leg of the Ninja World Cup, run by the Pilipinas Obstacle Sports Federation (POSF) in collaboration with World Obstacle (FISO). A short and spectacular Ninja-style course was constructed at Bridgetowne Central Park where athletes enjoyed thrilling head-to-head races.
- Download a video news release and photography from Test Event I
Global accessibility is a cornerstone of the New Pentathlon Discipline process, and participating athletes spoke positively about how Modern Pentathlon can attract more athletes and fans by embracing a discipline that can be accessed and enjoyed universally.
Isaaciah Piamonte (PHI), senior men’s silver medallist
“It’s overwhelming, because a lot of people tried this course and it’s safe and it’s amazing. For me it’s 100 per cent beautiful.
“I started engaging in Obstacle in 2018, and a course like this is different to the Spartan races because it’s shorter with many obstacles. It’s quite challenging but people can try the obstacles and it’s more accessible for everyone.”
Princess Arbilon (PHI), junior women’s participant
“It’s so exciting and interesting. This new discipline is going to be so challenging and it’s my first time. [Modern Pentathlon] will be more equal with this event.”
Mayank Chaphekar (IND), senior men’s bronze medallist
“This test event was a good opportunity for us, and something new to learn because the new discipline will be something we can all take part in. It’s a very interesting game and many people can do it, so it will be a good step for the Modern Pentathlon.”
Joel Collings (NZL), junior men’s participant
“I feel like it’s a good opportunity for us to provide feedback to the National Federation and just to see how it is, as an athlete. I’ve no experience of obstacle apart from being a child and swinging on bars, so this was my first time.
“In terms of horse riding, it’s very inaccessible and expensive, whereas with obstacle you can go anywhere, to a playground, and it’s very easy for anyone to get started.”
How it worked
After a practice day (August 6), the athletes were given opportunities on day two (August 7) to race a bespoke course comprised of the following 10 obstacles:
- Archer steps
- Sonic swing
- 2.0m A-wall
- Double tilting ladders
- Balance beam
- 1.5m wall
- Ring swing
- Giant steps
- Warped wall
The senior gold medal for female pentathletes was won by Dea Salsabila Putri (INA), with the men’s title going to Gilbert Andrino (PHI). The junior champions were Darya Kuzmina (KAZ) and Samuel German (PHI).
There were separate categories for Obstacle athletes, and with entries dominated by host nation representatives, the winners were Precious Cabuya (36.28sec) and Coach Jaymark (23.21sec).
UIPM President’s reaction
UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said: “Today in Manila we had the second Test Event for the integration of a New 5th Discipline in Modern Pentathlon. Nine nations from Asia were represented in this Test Event and we had a lot of experienced obstacle specialists from the POSF, who taught our pentathletes a lot.
“The course was laid out differently to the first test in Ankara, more Ninja style without any running in between. It was obstacle to obstacle and we could see that our athletes adapted very quickly after their training yesterday.
“We are very happy with the direction of this testing phase for Obstacle Discipline and we look forward now to the next Test Event in Italy, created especially for our youth athletes so that all generations of stakeholders can have experience of this concept and tell us their views. We are refining our vision for this new discipline based on what athletes and coaches are telling us after each competition.
“Special thanks go to the POSF and to our Philippine Modern Pentathlon Association and its President Richard Gomez, also to World Obstacle and its President Ian Adamson for escorting and helping us. I am sure we will continue to have further good results later in the season.”
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. Test Event I took place in Ankara (TUR) on June 27-28, 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 were invited to complete a survey about their experience during the two-day event. These views will be collated and used to inform and shape future tests.