Modern pentathlon to remain Olympic sport for 2020

  • Modern pentathlon has survived the cut and will still be included in the 2020 Olympics.

    The sport was one of the favourites, alongside badminton, taekwondo and table tennis, to be axed from the 2020 Games in a review by the International Olympic Committee.

    A board meeting took place in Lausanne yesterday (Tuesday 12 February) where all 26 Olympic sports were reviewed. Wrestling was the sport that was dropped. The review included analysing various aspects, including TV ratings, ticket sales and popularity.

    However, wrestling still has a chance to reclaim its position as it will automatically go onto a list of hopefuls for inclusion at the Games and a decision will be made in September. Other sports bidding for a place are squash, karate, wakeboading, rollersports, rock-climbing, baseball and softball.

    Modern pentathlon was thought to be one of the most likely to be be lost, but the sport has a strong Olympic history. It was invented by the founder of the modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin. And as a further boost all five elements of the sport — fencing, showjumping, swimming, running and shooting — are planned to take place in same stadium at Rio in 2016.

    Britain has been successful in the sport — especially women. Since womenwere allowed to compete in modern pentathlon at the Games in 2000, the girls have won a medal at every Games — the most recent being Samantha Murray’s silver this summer.

    “This is a very sad day for wrestling. However I want to thank the IOC’s decision tokeep Modern Pentathlon the Olympics for 2020. I’m elated. Thank you,” she said.

    Jon Austin, chief executive of Pentathlon GB, added: “This is still subject to a final decision at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires, but it’s great news. I’m extremely happy with the decision. It’s terrific news for everyone in pentathlon community.”

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