Shiny Fang claims Asian National Federations feel more involved in the UIPM with obstacle ©UIPM

International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) secretary general Shiny Fang has claimed that multiple National Federations present here for the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games feel they can become more involved in the sport because of obstacle's inclusion.

The governing body is gradually replacing the riding element of modern pentathlon with obstacle, and it has capitalised on the occasion of the continental event to hold talks with National Olympic Committees and Federations about the change.

"We had a lot of communication with multiple Asian NFs and National Olympic Committees, some with and some without Pentathlon embedded, and their first reaction did not surprise us," wrote Fang.

"They expressed a feeling that finally they can become more involved in modern pentathlon thanks to the innovation of the integrated obstacle discipline.

"Meanwhile, all of them expressed the sentiment that they treasure the history and identification of modern pentathlon with riding, but they really hope their athletes can have sustainable ambitions of competing in the Olympic Games and other multi-sport Games with the transformed five-discipline sport."

Shiny Fang, left, stated the National Federations that were spoken with treasured the history of modern pentathlon with riding ©UIPM
Shiny Fang, left, stated the National Federations that were spoken with treasured the history of modern pentathlon with riding ©UIPM

Modern pentathlon featured at Hangzhou 2022 from September 20 to 24 and saw South Korea and China share the spoils with two gold medals each.

Fang claims that obstacle has made modern pentathlon more accessible for a lot of countries that have traditionally not been major participants in the sport.

She states that there will be a challenge for modern pentathlon to be developed in some places but the transition away from equestrian "gives them hope of possibilities and opportunities". 

To further improve obstacle, Fang has identified the need for more training guidelines, more work to help National Federations integrate the discipline, and increased television production in time for senior events in 2025.

Paris 2024 is set to be the last edition of the Olympic Games where riding is due to feature as part of modern pentathlon.

The sport has not been confirmed for inclusion at Los Angeles 2028 but Fang is confident.

"Once again, we are expecting a positive outcome from the IOC Session in Mumbai in October to confirm our inclusion in Los Angeles 2028, and regardless of the result, the journey of a new pentathlon has started and will continue to inspire youth generations together for decades to come," she wrote.