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Modern Pentathlon


The pentathlon was the climax of the Games in Ancient Greece. Since its appearance at the modern Games, it has undergone a great deal of evolution.

The ancient disciplines

The ancient pentathlon consisted of running, jumping, spear-throwing, discus and wrestling. The pentathlon held a position of unique importance, with the winner ranked as “Victor Ludorum”.

The modern format

The modern pentathlon was introduced by Baron de Coubertin at the Stockholm Games in 1912, comprising pistol shooting, fencing, swimming, horse riding and running. It was his belief that this event would test “a man’s moral qualities as much as his physical resources and skills, producing thereby a complete athlete.”

From five to one

From 1912 to 1980, the Olympic modern pentathlon was held over five days with one event per day. Now, the event is held over one day. Competitors score points in the first three events, which decide their starting position for the final combined event, composed of the shooting and running disciplines. The first one over the line wins the gold medal.

Gathering crowds

The change to the current format held over one day has helped spectators to understand and connect with the sport, making it a more attractive spectacle.

Laser pistol

In 2010 during the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, athletes used a laser pistol instead of a traditional pellet-firing air gun for the combined event for the first time during an official international competition. Laser shooting was introduced for both safety reasons and to reduce the environmental impact of the lead bullets. It will see its debut at an Olympic Games in London 2012.

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Gallery

Modern Pentathlon - Men
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Modern Pentathlon - Men

Alexander Lesun of Russian Federation celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win gold in the Modern Pentathlon on Day 15 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Deodoro Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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Modern Pentathlon - Men
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Modern Pentathlon - Men

General view of the Combined Running/Shooting event of the Modern Pentathlon on Day 15 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Deodoro Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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Modern Pentathlon - Men
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Modern Pentathlon - Men

Alexander Lesun of Russian Federation in action during the Combined Running/Shooting event of the Modern Pentathlon on Day 15 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Deodoro Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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Modern Pentathlon - Individual competition Men - Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Highlights of the Modern Pentathlon - Individual competition Men on Day 15 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Deodoro Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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Modern Pentathlon - Combined Running/Shooting Women
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Modern Pentathlon - Combined Running/Shooting Women

Chloe Esposito of Australia competes during the Combined Running/Shooting during the Modern Pentathlon on Day 14 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Deodoro Stadium on August 19, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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Modern Pentathlon - Combined Running/Shooting Women
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Modern Pentathlon - Combined Running/Shooting Women

Iryna Khokhlova of Argentina competes during the Women's Riding Modern Pentathlon on Day 14 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Deodoro Stadium on August 19, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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