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UIPM statement on postponement of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

  • New Modern Pentathlon qualification system to be finalised for Games in 2021
  • Pentathlon World Cup season cancelled; Pentathlon World Championships postponed
  • President Schormann salutes Executive Board for taking ‘collective responsibility for public health’

UIPM has welcomed the decision of the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee to postpone the Games of the XXXII Olympiad until 2021.

In light of today’s announcement, the UIPM Executive Board (EB) will meet via conference call to finalise plans for a revised qualification system for Modern Pentathlon.

The adapted system will be designed to safeguard the health of athletes and others involved in the UIPM competition circuit while providing athletes with a fair chance of fulfilling their dreams of competing in the Olympic Games.

The EB already convened on March 23 to discuss options for the new system based on the various scenarios under consideration by the IOC and Tokyo 2020. UIPM can therefore announce the following changes to the 2020 season, enforced by the escalation of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic:

  • The UIPM 2020 Pentathlon World Cup season – which had already been pushed back as far as possible to May and June – has been cancelled.
  • The UIPM 2020 Pentathlon World Championships – which had already been relocated from Xiamen (CHN) to Cancun (MEX) due to the Coronavirus – will be rescheduled for new dates in late September or October.

With the 2020 season on hold until July at the earliest, discussions will continue in the coming days with the organisers of the other UIPM World Championships set for the second half of the season (Junior, Youth, Laser Run and Biathle/Triathle).

The viability of each event will be assessed by the UIPM Competitions Department, which will then update the EB.

UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said: “We are living in extraordinary times and we must all take drastic action to combat this Coronavirus, with collective responsibility for public health and the preservation of life.

“The crisis has escalated in recent days and weeks, especially in Europe, and the restrictions on travel and training imposed in many countries mean we can no longer ask athletes to continue preparing for competitions in May and June 2020.

“The IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee have the full support of UIPM in their decision to postpone the Olympic Games, which has been held every four years since London 1948.

“Our Union has been left with no option but to abandon plans for the UIPM 2020 Pentathlon World Championships to take place in Cancun (MEX) in May 2020 and cancel the rest of the UIPM 2020 Pentathlon World Cup season in the interests of safety.

“We take this action with heavy hearts and with great sadness for our dedicated organisers in Sofia, Budapest and Seoul. Modern Pentathlon will return to these cities in future at the earliest opportunity, but for now we must focus on matters outside sport and play our part in this global effort against the Coronavirus.

“I am proud of the UIPM Executive Board for coming together at short notice in recent weeks to discuss emergency measures and take important decisions for our movement and for the wider international society.

“We now have the flexibility to be responsive and to confirm plans for a new qualification process in due course.”


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