The UIPM, modern pentathlon’s world governing body, has announced it is in talks with the organising committee of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games about holding all five disciplines of the sport in the same stadium.
In an open letter published yesterday, UIPM president Klaus Schormann said that under the ‘Pentathlon Stadium’ concept, a spectator would be able to watch fencing, swimming, riding and the newly-combined running and shooting event “in 5 hours with 1 ticket from 1 seat.”
He said: “After 15 year of exciting innovations in Modern Pentathlon I welcome you to our newest concept, the Pentathlon Stadium. This revolutionary innovation will make its Olympic debut in Rio 2016 (currently in discussions) and will once again enhance our great sport to the spectators and media.”
It is thought that the federation’s plan is at an early stage and that the International Olympic Committee has not received an official request to amend the format.
In an exclusive interview with Sportcal in November, Schormann said that the UIPM was making good progress towards its dream of being able to hold all five disciplines of the sport in the same venue at the Olympics, but indicated that the 2020 games was a more likely target.
He said discussions had been held with Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo, the three bid cities for the 2020 Olympic Games, about holding all five disciplines in a single outdoor stadium, using a demountable 25-metre swimming pool and a temporary roof above the fencing piste to protect the delicate electronic equipment used for scoring.
One of the benefits to organising committees of such an arrangement, Schormann said, is that the ticketing and logistics for modern pentathlon become much easier when all of the disciplines are held in the same venue.
But Schormann said at the time that, for Rio 2016, all five disciplines would take place in a single area within the city, with the venues for the various disciplines lying adjacent to each other.
For London 2012, fencing and the swimming were held in the Olympic Park’s Copper Box and Aquatic Centre venues, respectively, while the riding and running/shooting events were held in Greenwich Park, some miles away.
Meanwhile, the UIPM has teamed up with Eurosport, the pan-European sports broadcaster, to produce a special programme that will air later this month and highlight proposed changes to the sport.
The programme, to be aired on Eurosport 1 at midnight (CET) on January 23, will feature in-depth interviews with Schormann and UIPM vice president Viacheslav Aminov on the internal workings of the federation, the success of the sport at London 2012 and the planned new innovations, with a specific focus on the Pentathlon Stadium.
It will also cover the switch from air pistols to laser technology in the combined running-shooting event, and a new-look ladder ranking system for fencing.
The UIPM said the feature programme will be repeated on Eurosport 1 on February 6 and 20.