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Olympic pentathletes urge IOC president to prevent showjumping being dropped

Olympic pentathletes urge IOC president to prevent showjumping being dropped
© Reuters
A total of 46 Olympic medallists in the modern pentathlon sign a letter urging IOC president Thomas Bach to prevent showjumping being cut from the event.

Modern Pentathlon medallists of past and present Olympic Games have signed a letter urging IOC president Thomas Bach to prevent showjumping being cut from the sport.

The event is due to be replaced from Paris 2024 onwards following controversy at the Tokyo 2020 games, in which German coach Kim Raisner was ejected after punching a horse.

The decision has been widely condemned by athletes in the sport, and a total of 46 Olympic medallists are now calling on Bach to intervene and overturn the decision.

The letter read: "As you are well aware, modern pentathlon - the oldest sport on the program of the Olympic Games with its 110 years of history, has thrown into turmoil by the executive board of UIPM which decided in a secret meeting - without any consultation with the Pentathlon community - to drop riding from the format after the Paris 2024 Games.

"It has been claimed that the International Olympic Committee demanded this in return for keeping the mutilated sport in the Olympic program. Regardless whether this is the case, we, Olympians of modern pentathlon, turn to you personally on behalf of all competitors in this sport to ask for your strong counteraction.

"As the past two decades have proven, we are all ready to adopt changes in the competition rules in order to modernise our sport and make it more possible and accessible. Nevertheless, we are deeply convinced that leaving out riding will not solve any of the common reservations about modern pentathlon.

"Instead it will create additional challenges and ruin years of hard work for hundreds of athletes. Our equestrian discipline is a fundamental foundation of our sport - to be the ideal athlete - is to be preserved.

"We ask you, as President of the IOC, to use your influence against a decision that is clearly damaging and destructive to not just modern pentathlon but also to the prestige of the Olympic Games."

Tokyo 2020 champion Joe Choong - one of the many medallists who signed the letter - previously warned that such changes could 'spell the end' of the sport.

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