Ninja Warrior as a role model? New discipline for modern pentathlon


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For Michael Dörr, the abolition of show jumping in modern pentathlon and the introduction of a new fifth discipline is overdue.

“It’s called modern pentathlon, so we can also modernize – and we have to,” said the President of the German association in an interview with the German Press Agency. On June 27th and 28th in Ankara, the world association UIPM tested an obstacle course as a substitute for horseback riding, which will be abolished after the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

According to the UIPM, athletes from 19 nations had contested the test competition. The German delegation did well with a win for Tobias Hierl and third place for Robin Schmidt in the men’s competition and third place for Annika Schneider in the junior women’s competition. “That’s a really good thing,” Schmidt said.

Ninja Warrior as a role model?

Similar to “Ninja Warrior” from the RTL show of the same name, nine obstacles had to be overcome over a distance of 100 meters. These included, among other things, swinging on a rope, climbing a 2.5 meter high ladder with ascent and descent, balancing on a beam and climbing a curved wall.

Dörr considers the new format promising. “Sport is not only becoming fairer, but also more global,” he said. He thinks horseback riding is outdated. “It’s a braid that no longer fits into today’s world. Complex, expensive, only a few nations can afford it,” said the head of the association.

The UIPM reacted to the incidents at the Olympic Games in Tokyo by canceling the horse riding. There, the German Annika Schleu had caused sharp criticism because she had not been able to cope with a horse that had been drawn to her and was completely insecure; she had used crop and spurs desperately. With the new format, the world association wants to maintain its Olympic status and also be part of the program in Los Angeles in 2028 – so far the sport has not been included.


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