Obstacle racing gets modern pentathlon approval

Obstacle course racing has been tested in four countries throughout this year

National federations have backed controversial plans to replace show jumping with obstacle course racing in the modern pentathlon.

The proposal will now be put to the International Olympic Committee, who will decide whether to include the new format in the 2028 Olympics.

The switch received the minimum of two-thirds support it needed to go through.

The UIPM, the sport’s international governing body, said there was an 83.3% vote in favour of the change.

“The vote provides UIPM with a mandate to propose a new-look modern pentathlon including obstacle discipline to the IOC for potential inclusion in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games,” a UIPM statement said.

Modern pentathlon is currently made up of fencing, swimming, show jumping and a combined running and shooting event.

Show jumping was removed by the UIPM after a German coach was seen striking a horse at the Tokyo Olympics.

Britain’s Olympic champion Joe Choong has said he will quit modern pentathlon if show jumping is replaced with obstacle course racing.

Athletes from USA Pentathlon have also opposed the proposed changes.

Show jumping will remain one of the five events for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, but modern pentathlon is not currently listed to be included in the 2028 Games in Los Angeles.

Obstacle course racing was selected from 61 suggestions to replace show jumping during a consultation in October 2021. Climbing, javelin, long jump, orienteering and cyclo-cross were also considered.

Obstacle course racing has been tested in four countries throughout this year, with organisers saying there was an 88% satisfaction rating from participants.

It is the only sport that has been tested as an alternative to show jumping, which the UIPM said is because of time constraints.

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(With Inputs from BBC)