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Modern pentathlon factbox for Athens 2004

Posted: Sunday July 11, 2004 7:48PM; Updated: Sunday July 11, 2004 7:48PM
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ATHENS, July 9 (Reuters) -- Factbox on modern pentathlon at the August 13-29 Athens Olympics:

HISTORY

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The only sport created solely for the Olympic Games, modern pentathlon is supposed to reflect the ancient Greek ideal of the well-rounded athlete competing in several disciplines. The ancient pentathlon, which comprised discus throw, javelin, long jump, a stadium-length race and wrestling, was practised at the Olympic Games in 708 B.C..

Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the modern Games, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), designed modern pentathlon as an event that would test physical strength, technical ability, concentration and endurance, with athletes competing in shooting, fencing, swimming, riding and cross-country running, all within one day.

EVENTS

Shooting, fencing, swimming, riding, 3,000 metres cross-country running.

Separate men's and women's competitions with 32 participants in each.

In shooting, the competitors shoot at a fixed target from a distance of 10 metres using a 4.5mm-calibre air pistol, with 20 shots allowed for each athlete and a time limit of 40 seconds.

For the fencing event, athletes fence once with each of their rivals which means that each competitor faces 31 opponents.

In the swimming, the men have to cover 200 metres in freestyle within two minutes 30 seconds; women have two minutes 40 seconds.

Riding involves jumping over 12 hurdles (maximum height 1.2 metres) within a time limit. Competitors are allocated an unknown horse in a random draw and have 20 minutes to familiarise themselves with their mount.

The cross-country race over three kms is always the last event. Athletes start under a handicap system, according to their points total from the previous four disciplines. The leader starts first so the first person to cross the finish line of the race wins the pentathlon.

2000 CHAMPIONS

Men

Roustem Sabirhuzin (Russia)

Women

Georgina Harland (Britain)

OLYMPIC PROGRAMME

August 26 - Men's Modern Pentathlon (shooting, fencing, swimming, riding, running)

August 27 - Women's Modern Pentathlon (same order)

VENUE

Olympic Modern Pentathlon Centre in the Goudi Olympic Complex in central Athens. The complex can seat 2,500 spectators at the swimming, 5,000 at the riding and running and 3,000 at the fencing and shooting.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

www.pentathlon.org

Copyright 2004 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.


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