The World Federation for Modern Pentathlon has specified the obstacle discipline intended as a replacement for show jumping. As the association announced on Tuesday, ten different obstacles are to be mastered over a distance of 100 meters. These include climbing steps, swinging on a rope, overcoming a 1.5 meter high wall, balancing on a balance beam and climbing inclined ladders. At the end of the course, which is reminiscent of the RTL show “Ninja Warrior”, a curved wall has to be climbed.
The first test event will take place on June 27th and 28th directly after the regular World Cup finals in Ankara, Turkey.
The world association UIPM reacted to the incidents at the Olympic Games in Tokyo last year by canceling horseback riding and at the same time is fighting for its Olympic future. In Japan, the German Annika Schleu caused a stir and sharp criticism. The then leader in the intermediate classification had not gotten along with the horse “Saint Boy” who had been drawn to her and was completely insecure; she had used crop and spurs desperately.
At the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, the modern pentathlon will take place for the last time with riding. For the following games in Los Angeles 2028, the sport is not part of the program for the time being.
With the change of discipline, the UIPM is also reacting to the requirements of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). According to this, the fifth competition, in addition to fencing, swimming and the laser run from pistol shooting and running, must be accessible worldwide, popular among all age groups, dynamic and attractive for spectators worldwide, as well as inexpensive and easy to understand.
Among athletes, the abolition of horseback riding through a substitute discipline is controversial. The Japanese Taishu Sato demonstrated a few weeks ago at the World Cup in Budapest with a T-shirt for the preservation of show jumping. The message: “Keep Riding and Change the Rules.” Keep riding and change the rules. The athletes’ association Pentathlon United is also critical of the planned change.