Modern Pentathlon

Following a fast-paced and action-packed event in 2022, pentathlon is back! This year will see even more elements of the Olympic sport of Modern Pentathlon included. Athletes will be put to the ultimate test by competing in swimming, obstacle course racing, running, and shooting across the four days of the event.

Modern pentathlon is made up of four events combining five sports:

  • Riding, with a show jumping course on an unfamiliar horse that the athlete is allocated in a draw just 20 minutes before they compete.
    After the the Paris 2024 Olympic Games riding will be replaced with Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) which is being showcased at this year's National School Games Finals. All junior athletes already compete in OCR.
  • Fencing, which is split into two rounds. Firstly a ranking round where each athlete competes against each other athlete in a bout lasting one minute or until the first hit, and a second round based on the results of the first round. The format of the second round is single elimination, with each bout lasting 45 seconds. Points are scored for winning each bout.
  • Swimming, with a 200m freestyle event.
  • Running and shooting, with a laser-run where athletes alternate between running and shooting at five targets from 10m.

Designed specifically for the Olympics, the physicality of both the swimmer and runner, the nerve of the shooter, the speed and agility of the fencer, and the expertise of horsemanship aimed to create the all-round athlete (Heck, 2011)

The modern pentathlon is divided into two sections. Firstly, athletes score points according to how they rank in the fencing, riding (same with OCR) and swimming events, which decide their starting position for the laser run event. Secondly, during the laser-run, athletes start with a delay corresponding to the number of points between them and the leader. The first athlete to cross the finish line in the laser-run wins the gold medal.

With the diverse nature of the events involved, modern pentathlon is an extremely demanding sport that pushes athletes to their mental and physical limits and requires an exceptional variety of skills

Did You Know?

  • Athletes shoot at their designated target as many times as it takes to register five successful hits. Each successful hit is represented by a green light.
  • After five successful hits or 50 Seconds (whichever comes first), athletes can leave the range and begin their first run before returning to the same bay and pistol for their next shoot.
  • Great Britain currently have both Olympic Champions, Kate French and Joe Choong winning gold medals in Tokyo in 2021.


1st XV Rugby Pitch

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Swimming Pool

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Netball and Badminton Centre

Venue location