Modern pentathlon riding abandoned at LA Games 2028
Modern Pentathlon Australia has supported the decision of the international sports governing body to withdraw the discipline of show jumping from its Olympic competition after the Paris 2024 Games.
The Modern Pentathlon International Union announced this week that the riding component will be phased out and replaced with another event – cycling has been mentioned, among others – in an effort to retain its place as an Olympic sport. In a letter to the athletes, the world’s sport governing body said the decision has been ratified by its board of directors.
Modern Pentathlon Australia said on Friday it was aware the change was needed to ensure the sport remains in contention to be part of the Olympic program in Los Angeles 2028, Brisbane 2032 and beyond.
“Our sport is built on tradition and horsemanship (on horseback) has been part of our sport at the Olympics since 1912, but our sport has evolved significantly in recent years and we will continue to support the evolution of modern pentathlon,” said the Australian group. said in a statement.
“In Australia and other parts of the world, the equestrian discipline can be a barrier to participation for new athletes who are considering starting our sport and it can also be difficult for event planners to find the right number and the good quality of horses for competitions. “
The modern pentathlon includes fencing, a 200-meter freestyle, show jumping and a final combined laser shooting and distance running event. In the final event, athletes complete four circuits by shooting five targets at a distance of 10 meters in 50 seconds using a laser gun and running for 800 meters.
The riding element – in which athletes are paired with unknown horses – was criticized at Tokyo 2020 after a German trainer was sent home for hitting a horse whose refusal knocked out leader Anika Schleu from the competition . Great Britain won the gold medals in Tokyo, with Joe Choong winning the men’s title and Kate French the women’s event.
Modern Pentathlon Australia said it “understands this is a big change for the sport and will come as a shock to some athletes.”
“However, it is also the next chapter in the evolution of our sport and presents an opportunity to increase participation in Australia and build towards Brisbane 2032.”
In the ancient Olympics, the pentathlon included running, jumping, javelin, discus and wrestling.
The founder of the Modern Olympics, Pierre de Coubertin, introduced the modern version including pistol shooting, fencing, swimming, horseback riding and running and it was initially held over five days. Now it is challenged in one day.
The IOC said de Coubertin was convinced the event would test “a man’s moral qualities as much as his physical resources and skills, thus producing a complete athlete.”