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Modern pentathlon replaces horseback riding for an obstacle course

Modern pentathlon replaces horseback riding for an obstacle course

Posted May. 04, 2022 08:26,   

Updated May. 04, 2022 08:26


The Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne has voted to remove horseback riding and introduce an obstacle course racing instead.

On Tuesday, the Federation held an executive board meeting in Budapest, Hungary, and announced that it has chosen an obstacle course for testing among 60 sports suggested for a replacement of horseback riding. Testing for obstacle discipline will begin immediately after the UIPM World Cup final in Ankara, Turkey, in June. Specifics of the competition format will be finalized later.

Horseback riding is one of the five disciplines of modern pentathlon, alongside fencing, swimming, and the laser run (running and shooting). The decision was prompted first at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics in relation to fairness concerns. In modern pentathlon, athletes are assigned to horses by random draw after they have finished fencing and swimming. In Tokyo, German athlete Annika Schleu went from first to 31st because her horse refused to jump. Her angry coach was seen punching the horse and was pulled out of the men’s individual competition.

Obstacle discipline appears to be a new discipline of modern pentathlon from the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Not every athlete is welcoming the change, though. Joseph Choong, who won a gold medal in the men’s event at Tokyo Olympics, wrote to IOC President Thomas Bach, urging him not to remove horseback riding from modern pentathlete.

Hong-Gu Kang windup@donga.com