Past Winners of the Modern Pentathlon
Friday 17 February 2012
The Modern Pentathlon celebrates 100 years as an Olympic sport this year, having first been included in the Games in 1912 in Stockholm. It consists of five phases: pistol shooting, epee fencing, 200m freestyle swimming, show jumping and a 3km cross country run.
This sport is rapidly growing in popularity, and is a Pony Club sport. It promises to be a very popular and interesting spectator event at the 2012 London Olympics.
Modern Pentathlon is the only event created specifically for the Olympic Games, and is run over only one day. There have been calls for it to be removed from the Olympics altogether, but there was a recent vote which decided to keep this event until at least the 2016 Olympic Games.
As it is a one day event, transportation from event to event at the Olympics poses a particular challenge, for both competitors and spectators.
The show jumping round is very interesting and is different from regular show jumping competitions.
The athletes must ride an unfamiliar horse over a course of between 12 and 15 fences.
The athlete who is in the lead after the previous event draws first the name of the horse they will compete on.
On the basis of this draw the other horses are then allocated to the other competitors. The athletes have 20 minutes in the warm up arena, jumping just five practise fences, to familiarise themselves with the horse they are to ride before they compete in the main arena.
Great Britain is particularly strong in the women’s event, with medallists at the Games in 2000 in Sydney, 2004 in Athens and 2008 in Beijing. The men’s event is dominated by Russia and other Eastern European Nations, and these countries have always been strong in this event.
Women and men compete in separate competitions and the women’s event wasn’t included in the Olympics until 2000. The gold medallists in Beijing were German Lena Schöneborn, who’s hotly tipped for another medal this year, for the women’s competition and Russian Andrey Moiseyev for the men’s.
Andrey also won the gold medal in 2004 and is a favourite to repeat this in the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The 2004 Women’s Gold medallist was Zsuzsanna Vörös from Hungary.
Britain won gold in the 2000 Games in Sydney, with Stephanie Cook taking the medal in the women’s competition. The men’s winner in 2000 was Dmitri Svatkovskiy, completing the Russian domination of the Men’s event at the past 3 Olympic Games.
Photo by Andreavallejos
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