Para-Pentathlon makes its first-ever test event in Buenos Aires
Modern Pentathlon has continued its journey towards the goal of being a Paralympic sport by hosting the first-ever Para-Pentathlon test event in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The demonstration was organised during the UIPM 2015 Youth A World Championships after a collaboration between the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM), the Argentinian Paralympic Committee (COPAR) and Pentathlon Moderno Argentina.
The event featured various para-athletes of the Argentina National Paralympic team exhibiting their skills to the media, youth athletes and public as well as local and international stakeholders.
The multi-disciplinary format was based on Para-Swimming, Para-Combined and Para-Fencing within the modern bonus round format officially in use by UIPM since 2014.
Para-Fencing was displayed by Luis Alarcon and Alejandro Palavecino, two top Argentinian wheelchair fencers from Buenos Aires and Cordoba who performed a 2-bout of 5 touches each; one of the formats recognised by UIPM.
There followed a Para-Combined Event where three Paralympic runners joined Alarcon and Palavecino in displaying the Standing Para Combined format with great laser shooting performances. Among them was Juan Manoel Geny, an 11-year national triathlon record holder.
The Sitting Para Combined Event offered the chance to analyse the abilities of athletes with diverse disabilities, beneficial for the sport’s development and future integration.
The final act came from Geny, who performed a 200m freestyle swim as per standard UIPM rules.
All athletes, team officials and stakeholders enjoyed the opportunity to witness this historic and inspirational demonstration.
UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann has for some time been driving the Para-Pentathlon movement as chair of the Parapentathlon Working Group (PWG), and the demonstration was directed in conjunction with COPAR President Jose Maria Villadares and Jorge Salas, President of the Argentina MP Federation.
UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann commended the Para-Pentathlon test event as a fine example of sporting integration and gender equality.
He said: ''Disabilities have no barriers and it is important to integrate them with youth competition so that the young generation can witness the spirit of never giving up.
“We have a sport with great potential in which we are investing lots of energy now in the interests of future planning and I am sure that this is only the first step of many more towards our goal.”
UIPM will continue to strive to develop the Para-Pentathlon movement with the aim of introducing the sport in time for the 2024 Paralympic Games.