Modern Pentathlon Votes To Give Up Horseback Riding After Olympic Turmoil In Tokyo | Olympic Games
The modern pentathlon governing body has secretly voted to take riding out of the sport and replace it with cycling, multiple sources told The Guardian.
The decision, which was reportedly taken by the UIPM board in recent days, was accelerated by the heartbreaking scenes at the Tokyo Olympics when a horse was struck by a German trainer after refusing to jump a fencing.
These images made headlines around the world and the UIPM is said to have acted to preserve its status as an Olympic sport before Paris 2024.
The UIPM declined to comment when asked about the story by the Guardian. However, in a statement, he said: “As part of UIPM’s commitment to maintain a strong and dynamic profile for modern pentathlon, a series of strategic meetings are underway. These meetings will include an upcoming call with national federations later this week. The outcome of these meetings will be detailed in a press release to be published on November 4.
Former modern British pentathlete Kate Allenby, who won a bronze medal for the GB team at the Sydney Olympics, told The Guardian any decision to replace riding would be a “disaster” for the sport.
“We have to talk about it because it is not modern pentathlon if there is no bike in it,” she added.
The UIPM is said to have acted after the sport came under heavy criticism in Tokyo. German competitor Annika Schleu, who won the gold medal before the show jumping, was seen in tears after her mount, Saint Boy, refused to jump over the obstacles.
German coach Kim Raisner, who was seen beating Saint Boy, was fired from Tokyo and UIPM has vowed to conduct a full review as well as discipline Raisner.
In a statement issued in August, the UIPM said: “The welfare of the horses and the safety of the athletes will be at the center of this process and the UIPM Congress 2021 in November will be the occasion for the member national federations. of the UIPM to participate in a collective effort to secure the future. from riding to modern pentathlon.