Thursday, January 6 2022

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – Modern Pentathlon – Women’s Equestrian – Tokyo Stadium – Tokyo, Japan – August 6, 2021. Annika Schleu of Germany in action REUTERS / Ivan Alvarado / File Photo

Nov. 6 (Reuters) – UIPM, the governing body of modern pentathlon, announced that it would meet with athletes next week after more than 650 of them called for the resignation of its board of administration following its decision to remove horse riding from the Olympic program.

The UIPM on Thursday decided to withdraw horse riding from the 2028 Games in Los Angeles following an outcry after a German trainer hit a horse that refused to jump a fence at this year’s Tokyo Games.

Athletes, including current and former Olympic medalists, signed a letter saying the Board of Directors (EB) had “undermined 109 years of modern pentathlon” by making a decision without consulting them or the federations, Inside the reported. Games.

“The UIPM is fully aware of the concerns expressed by current and former athletes over the decision of the Executive Council to replace riding in the modern pentathlon,” UIPM told Reuters.

“All athletes who received an open letter from EB on November 4 are invited to participate in an open dialogue on this issue so that they can better understand the context. The open dialogue will be scheduled over the next week.” , he added. noted.

He said he would hold an electoral convention on November 27-28 where member federations could discuss and debate all motions on the agenda, and encouraged athletes to speak to their national federations about any concerns they may have. they might have.

In a letter to the UIPM, the athletes said they were “shocked” by the decision to abolish the equestrian discipline.

“We unanimously declare a vote of no confidence towards the president and the entire board of directors,” they said. “Baron Pierre De Coubertin created the modern pentathlon especially for the Olympic Games to showcase the ultimate athlete.

“The board says it is responding to pressure from the International Olympic Committee. We are all aware of the challenges modern pentathlon faces. We must always look to the future and move our sport forward.”

The athletes said the UIPM needed a new board that would plan the “long-term interests” of sport while defending the athletes and protecting the place of sport at the Olympics.

Modern pentathlon, an Olympic sport since 1912, has featured five events: fencing, swimming, equestrian show jumping, pistol shooting and cross-country running.

UIPM President Klaus Schormann said that while the decision to give up riding was “painful”, the sport must change over time.

Reporting by Rohith Nair and Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard and Hugh Lawson

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