An Olympic sport since Stockholm
1912, the modern pentathlon is based on the story of a 19th century French soldier
riding his horse through enemy lines to deliver a message.
To get his message to it's destination, the soldier faced a steely
duel, had his horse shot from under him and was then forced to run and swim to reach his
Modern pentathletes therefore compete in five events to test their
endurance and athletic versatility: shooting, fencing, swimming, show-jumping and running
their way to gold.
In the Olympic Games of Ancient Greece, the Pentathlon consisted of
running the length of the stadium, jumping, throwing a spear, discus and wrestling.
The Greek philosopher Aristotle is quoted as stating: The most
perfect sportsmen, therefore, are the Pentathletes because in their bodies strength and
speed are combined in beautiful harmony.
Sweden dominated the first modern pentathlon events collecting 13
of the first 15 medals; a German won bronze in Amsterdam
1928 and an American won bronze in Los Angeles 1932.
The team event ran from Melbourne 1956
to Barcelona 1992, but was dropped at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games.
There are currently two events in the Modern Pentathlon: men's and
women's individual competitions, with women pentathletes making their first appearance at
the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Previously held over four to five days, the modern pentathlon has been
a one-day event since the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games,
with women competing one day and men the next.
Pentathletes have 40 seconds to fire 20 shots from an air pistol
at a at a target of 155 mm in diameter, from 10 metres.
Points range from 1 point on the outer ring to 10 points for a
bullseye, with rings one to six on a white background and rings seven to ten on a black
A score of 172 out of a possible 200 is worth 1,000 Pentathlon points.
Every target point above or below 172 is worth plus or minus 12 pentathlon points.
This is a round-robin competition where the pentathletes fence
every other competitor with épée swords in a series of one hit bouts lasting a minute.
The target area is the whole body and hits are registered via an
electronic tip at the end of the sword. If no hit is scored, within the time, both
athletes will be declared losers.
If a competitor wins 70% of their bouts they earn 1,000 pentahlon
points. There's an increase or decrease in points for achieving more or less than this.
A 200m freestyle race, with athletes seeded in heats according to
their personal best times.
A time of 2 minutes 30 seconds for men and 2 minutes 40 seconds for
women earns 1,000 pentathlon points.
Every three tenths of a second above or below this time is equal to
plus or minus four points.
Pentathletes receive their horse for the competition by drawing
lots and have 20 minutes to get the feel of the horse before riding over show-jumping
obstacles of up to 120cm in height and 150cm in spread; including one double and one
Each athlete starts with 1,200 points and lose points for mistakes or
exceeding the time limit.
28 points are lost for knockdowns, 40 points for a refusal to jump, 40
points for falling off and 4 points per second for being over the standard time.
If the round takes longer than double the standard time, the athlete
is eliminated and scores no points.
It's a 3,000m chase to the finish, with pentathletes setting off
on the run at intervals, which correspond in seconds to the pentathlon points difference
between themselves and the athlete in front; so that the first person across the line
takes the gold.
of Sweden, was the first non-military winner of the modern pentathlon.
Hall followed his gold at the Helsinki
1952 Olympic Games with another gold medal in Melbourne
1956; to become the first repeat winner of the modern pentathlon.
With cross-country running being his best event, Hungarian András
Balczó won a total of five Olympic medals in the modern pentathlon: team gold at the Rome 1960 and Mexico City
1968 Olympics; individual silver at Mexico City 1968;
and at Munich 1972, he won the individual gold medal and
Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne,
Avenue des Castellans, Stade Louis II, 98000 Monaco.
British Columbia Modern Pentathlon
The Association, as the recognised governing body for the sport of Modern Pentathlon in
Great Britain and Northern Ireland recognises the need to make provision for the
development of the sport of Modern Pentathlon within each of the home countries.
Deutscher Verband für
Modernen Fünfkampf: (Germany).
Federaçăo Gaúcha de Pentatlo
Federazione Italiana Pentathlon Moderno:
Magyar Öttusa Szövetség:
Modern Pentathlon Australia:
MPA was set up to raise the profile of modern pentathlon in Australia and implement an
effective administration infrastructure to support the athletes, officials, members,
sponsors and spectators.
Moderne Vijfkamp: (Holland).
Österreicher Verband für
Modernen Fünfkampf: (Austria).
The official web site for the Scottish Modern Pentathlon Association.
Slovenský Zväz Moderného
Suomen Nykyaikaisen 5-ottelun
A guide to modern pentathlon from running-shoes-online.