- The games
- Organising Committee
- Rio de Janeiro
- Take part
The original Pentathlon, which includes running, long jump, javelin, discus and wrestling, was considered the climax of the Olympic Games. Its winner, acclaimed by the public, was called Victor Ludorum or “The Winner of the Games”.
The creator of the Olympic Games of the Modern Era, Baron de Coubertin managed to reintroduce the Pentathlon, which was held at the Stockholm Games, in 1912.
In the Swedish capital, the Modern Pentathlon brought together the following sports: pistol shooting, fencing, swimming, horse riding and running, and it remains in the Games programme until today. The sport was administered by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) until 1948, when its international federation (UIPM in French) was founded.
Women first participated in the sport at the Sydney 2000 Games. Another significant change to attract spectators was a reduction in the competition time: until 1980, it took place over five days, with one event per day, whereas now, all events – fencing, swimming, horse riding and a combined running and shooting event – occur on a single day.
The competition uses a table points system, in which competitors’ performance determines their starting position in the combined running and shooting event. Whoever ends up in first place in this combined event is the winner.
The first event is Fencing. All participants face each other with swords in a bout lasting up to one minute, and a single touch is all that is necessary to win. If the bout lasts more time, both competitors are considered to be losers. The number of points varies in line with the percentage of victories – those who win 70% receive 1,000 points.
In Swimming, the competitors cross a distance of 200 meters in freestyle, and are placed in accordance with their best time in the Modern Pentathlon world ranking. Everyone who completes the race within 2 minutes and 30 seconds wins 1,000 points.
The Horse Riding event takes place over a stretch of between 350 and 400 metres, with 12 obstacles of 1.20 metres in height – one of which is a double, and another a triple. Each athlete participates in a draw to select which horse they will ride, 30 minutes beforehand. Competitors start off with 1,200 points and receive penalties in line with their performance.
In the combined Running and Shooting event, the competitor with the best ranking at the end of the first three events starts off in first place, and the intervals are based on differences in scores (handicap start). The event consists of three turns at the shooting stand, with the aim of hitting the target in up to 70 seconds, and a 1,000-metre race (adding up to 3,000). The winner of the competition is the athlete who is the first to cross the finishing line.