Tokyo Olympics modern pentathlon in review: Great Britain rules evolving sport

Posted at 7:32 AM, Aug 08, 2021

Oddly enough, the sport that lost the most from the lack of crowds at the Tokyo Olympics may have been modern pentathlon.

The sport continues to tinker with its format and presentation in an effort to make the pentathlon truly "modern." To that end, organizers transformed the field space at Tokyo Stadium into a multisport arena with a show jumping course, a running loop with the requisite laser shooting station, a fencing piste under a canopy, and even a 25-meter swimming pool.

So without a crowd to enjoy the show, the effort's impact was a little lost.

Still, it was an entertaining event to see on TV, and Great Britain won't mind in the least that it added two gold medals to its tally.

SEE MORE: Kate French of Great Britain clinches modern pentathlon gold

Women's event: Great Britain's Kate French won rather comfortably, finishing with a 15-second gap over the field despite slowing down to celebrate at the end. (RESULTS)

But the event had a bit of controversy. Germany's Annika Schleu had the lead after fencing and was in contention after swimming, but in the draw for horses for the jumping phase, she found herself stuck with a horse that didn't respond to her. She took no points in that phase, wiping out her medal chances. In response, a German coach appeared to punch the horse. Germany officials removed the coach put asked for a change to the rules to prevent such problems in the future.

Men's event: The USA doesn't usually have much of an impact in this sport, but former Egyptian competitor Amro Elgeziry changed that with an Olympic record in the 200m freestyle swim. Elgeziry's medal chances, though, were slim after a sub-.500 run in the fencing phase.

Great Britain's Joseph Choong wound up setting an Olympic record as well, racking up more points than any previous athlete to fend off a late challenge from Egypt's Ahmed Elgendy, the first African medalist in the sport. (RESULTS)