Modern pentathlon fights to keep its place
Posted: Wednesday August 4, 2004 9:20PM; Updated: Wednesday August 4, 2004 9:20PM
LONDON, Aug 5 (Reuters) -- The main aim of the modern pentathletes in Athens is to keep their sport on the Olympic programme after it narrowly escaped being excluded at an International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting in 2002.
The sport has tried to adapt to television demands by running all five components on the same day and by introducing a handicap system, ensuring that the first three across the line in the final cross-country race win the medals.
Sweden and Hungary are the traditional powers of the sport and Hungarian Gabor Balogh, silver medallist in Sydney and world champion in 2001, will be among the fancied competitors in Athens.
Sweden's Erik Johansson was second in the 2003 world championship behind Germany's Eric Walther and Lithuania have two good medal hopes in Edvinas Krungolcas, the European champion, and Andrejus Zadneprovskis, who won the 2004 world title.
Women's medals were awarded for the first time in Sydney and Britain won gold and bronze.
Bronze medallist Kate Allenby is still competing and another Briton, Georgina Harland, has taken over as world number one from Stephanie Cook, now retired.
Allenby finished second in the 2004 world championship in May behind Zsuzsanna Voros of Hungary, with Harland fifth.
The men's event in Athens is being held on August 26 with the women competing the following day. Shooting is the first discipline, followed by fencing, swimming, riding and running 3,000 metres.
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