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What do you know about Modern Pentathlon?


08-03-2016 15:56 BJT

Full coverage: 2016 Rio Olympics

In 708BC, an event designed to test the skills of the perfect warrior was introduced to the ancient Greek Olympics: the Pentathlon.

In a single afternoon, athletes battled against one another in discus-throwing, long jump, javelin-throwing, running and wrestling. It was seen as a test of the ideal physical specimen.

In 1912, the father of the modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, sought to introduce an event that would test "a man's moral qualities as much as his physical resources and skills, producing thereby a complete athlete."

Inspired by the ancient Games, he created the Modern Pentathlon. The event was designed to test the skills not of a Greek warrior, but a 19th Century French cavalry officer.

I compete against 35 other athletes across five disciplines in a single day.

First, fencing. I battle each of my opponents - one touch on their body with my epee and I win a bout.

Next, swimming. I swim 200 meters against the clock. The faster I finish, the more points I am awarded.

Then horse riding. I draw lots with my competitors to decide which horse I ride, and then must clear 12 jumps. Any mistakes cost me points.

The first three events decide my time handicap in the final challenge - running and shooting.

I run four laps of 800 meters, and must shoot a target 10 meters away five times at the end of each of the first three laps.

I cross the finish line first at the end of the final 800m, and win Modern Pentathlon gold!

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