Modern pentathlon to try out obstacle discipline to replace horse riding

by NBC Olympics

From NBC Olympics

Modern pentathlon, an Olympic sport since 1912, will try out an unspecified obstacle event as one of its five disciplines to replace horse riding as it bids to remain in the Games.

UIPM, the sport’s international governing body, said Monday that it will test two variations of an “obstacle” discipline after the World Cup Final in late June.

It has been reported that the obstacle discipline is a form of obstacle course racing, but UIPM did not provide specifics when asked Monday.

The obstacle disciplines led over 60 proposals to replace horse riding, which UIPM said last year had to be removed to boost the chances of keeping modern pentathlon’s place in the Olympics.

Modern pentathlon will be held at the 2024 Paris Games but is not currently on the 2028 Los Angeles program. It could still be added for 2028.

“They must demonstrate a significant reduction in cost and complexity and improvements across the areas for safety, accessibility, universality, appeal for youth and general public,” IOC President Thomas Bach said in December.

The other modern pentathlon events are fencing, swimming and a combined running and shooting event. Modern pentathlon was created by the founder of the modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, and has roots in the duties required of a soldier from the late 19th century.

Brits Joe Choong and Kate French swept the golds in Tokyo last year.

Choong and French are among the modern pentathletes who have spoken out against the removal of horse riding.