HomeOlympics: Modern pentathlon to replace showjumping from 2028 Olympic Games

Olympics: Modern pentathlon to replace showjumping from 2028 Olympic Games

Modern Pentathlon Australia says a drastic change announced by the sport’s governing body this week will come as a ‘shock’ to some athletes.

Modern Pentathlon Australia admits the move to scrap show jumping from the Olympic event may “shock” some athletes, but following uproar over the treatment of a horse at the Tokyo Games, the organisation says it supports the dramatic change.

Earlier this week, modern pentathlon’s international governing body, the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM), revealed it would soon begin the process of finding a sport to replace the event’s show jumping leg from the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028.

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The modern pentathlon has featured show jumping at each Games since the event was introduced in Stockholm in 1912, but the MPA said the decision had its full support.

“Our sport is built on tradition and riding has been part of our sport at the Olympics since 1912; however, our sport has evolved considerably in recent years, and we will continue to support further evolution of modern pentathlon,” a statement read.

“MPA understands this is a big change to the sport and will be a shock for some athletes.

“However, it is also the next chapter of our sport’s evolution and presents an opportunity to increase participation in Australia and build towards Brisbane 2032.”

The MPA said Australian athletes would be consulted in the process of determining which sport would join fencing, swimming and laser run — a combination of shooting and running — in the modern pentathlon.

“We will ensure the views of our athletes and community are relayed to the UIPM and that MPA are involved in the process for determining a replacement discipline for riding post Paris,” the MPA said.

The sport chosen will comply with 13 criteria outlined by the UIPM this week, including gender equality, cost-effectiveness for athletes and organisers and adherence to the sport’s narrative of showcasing the “most complete athlete”.

The move to scrap show jumping comes after German coach Kim Raisner was thrown out of the Tokyo Olympics for appearing to punch a horse ridden by her athlete Annika Schleu.

Schleu was in tears as she struggled to control the horse, which Raisner struck above its left hind leg.

Raisner attracted worldwide ire for the punch and was ordered by the UIPM to attend an education seminar on the humane treatment of animals.

The UIPM says it will provide a timeline for the selection process of the new sport in the coming weeks.


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