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About Modern Pentathlon

Modern PentathlonThe modern pentathlon is a sports contest that includes five events: pistol shooting, épée fencing, 200m freestyle swimming, show jumping, and a 3km cross country run.

It was invented by the Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games. The name derives from the Greek penta- "five" and -athlon "contest".

The addition of 'modern' to the name distinguished it from the original pentathlon of the ancient Olympic Games, which consisted of the stadion foot race, wrestling, long jump, javelin, and discus.

As the events of the ancient pentathlon were modeled after the skills of the ideal soldier of that time, Coubertin created the contest to simulate the experience of a 19th century cavalry soldier behind enemy lines: he must ride an unfamiliar horse, fight with pistol and sword, swim, and run.

Except for the fencing competition, athletes do not directly compete against one another in the five events. Instead, a better absolute performance results in a higher points score; points for each event are combined to give the overall total scores, and the competitor with the highest score wins the competition.

At official competitions held under the auspices of the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM), there is some flexibility in the order of events, but the running must always be the final event.

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