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UIPM Joint Committees propose three LA28 Fencing proposals for testing

  • Single-elimination format set to make Olympic debut in 2028
  • Volunteering National Federations will test formats from March-May
  • President Schormann salutes ‘innovation and creativity’ of UIPM community

The Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM) has moved a step closer to finalising the Modern Pentathlon format for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games.

At the end of their annual joint meeting (February 16-18), UIPM’s Athletes Committee, Coaches Committee and Technical Committee decided to propose three options for the Fencing discipline to the UIPM Executive Board (EB).

The Committees based their proposals on the recommendations of the Fencing Working Group appointed in November 2023.

All three proposals contain a single-elimination format, meaning pentathletes will compete for the first time in the knockout structure used in many other Olympic sports – preliminary rounds, quarter-finals and semi-finals culminating in a final bout between the last two surviving fencers.

The various formats will be tested by several volunteering National Federations in March, April and May. Testing results will be analysed by the EB with a view to presenting any relevant motions to UIPM 2024 Congress.

The Fencing format finally selected for LA28 – if approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) – will replace the current two-venue model of a full-scale Ranking Round followed by a Bonus Round with a ladder-style elimination format.

UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said: “After three days of invigorating discussion I am pleased that our three main UIPM committees have come together to agree on an exciting proposal for Fencing at LA28, which we know will be a game-changer for Modern Pentathlon in the Olympic Games.

UIPM’s Athletes Committee, Coaches Committee and Technical Committee met jointly in Frankfurt (GER).


“Once again, we have been challenged to redefine our sport to make sure it remains a compelling part of the world’s greatest sporting event. And our community has responded with innovation and creativity, always keeping in mind the need to adjust to the needs of the IOC and the host city, in this case Los Angeles.

“A single-elimination format in Fencing will be another important landmark in the evolution of Modern Pentathlon. UIPM was asked by the IOC President, Dr Thomas Bach, to reduce the cost and complexity of our sport while making it more accessible and more appealing, and this goes beyond the introduction of Obstacle as a new discipline – it applies to the overall competition format. I now look forward to our discussions within the UIPM Executive Board.”

The Joint Committees Meeting also covered the following areas:

  • General aspects linked to the 2024 season, including Olympic qualification, Paris 2024 preparation and UIPM 2024 Congress.
  • Discussions about the LA28 format in consistency with the decision made by the 141st IOC Session in Mumbai (IND) in October 2023.
  • Analysis of Obstacle implementation including athlete training and performance progression, as well as equipment solutions provided by UIPM.
  • The potential participation in UIPM competitions of neutral athletes (AIN) with Belarus and Russia passports in the 2024 season.
  • Suggestions for athlete recognition, career development, and interaction with the Obstacle racing community.
  • Suggestions for the development of coach education and considerations about safety aspects for Obstacle training.
  • Suggestions from the Technical Committee regarding Technical Delegates’ event preparation and the assurance of high-quality Riding standards at Paris 2024, including support to athlete preparation, selection of horses, course design and animal welfare.

UIPM’s major competition season begins in two weeks’ time when UIPM 2024 Pentathlon World Cup Cairo takes place from March 5-10.

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