Obstacle racing looks set to be confirmed as the UIPM's fifth discipline at the organisation's Congress next month ©UIPM

International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) President Klaus Schormann has insisted that he is "convinced" the sport will be on the programme for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics after holding the fourth and final test event for the obstacle discipline here.

Modern pentathlon has been left off the initial list for the Games in six years' time, casting doubts over its future in the Olympics.

The sport, created by modern Olympics founder Pierre de Coubertin, has featured at the Games since its introduction in 1912 but faces missing out on LA 2028 if the UIPM does not win over the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The UIPM has been warned by IOC President Thomas Bach that it must finalise its proposal for the replacement of riding, which was dropped after the Tokyo 2020 scandal which saw German coach Kim Raisner sent home after punching a horse during the women's competitions.

Bach also insisted that the UIPM needed to "demonstrate a significant reduction in cost and complexity and improvement across the areas of safety, accessibility, universality and appeal for youth and general public".

Schormann said that the organisation was working to ensure modern pentathlon can "stay alive" in the Olympics and look towards a "new horizon" with a new fifth discipline.

"From my personal views, I am very much convinced [in the UIPM’s plan]," said Schormann.

UIPM President Klaus Schormann has insisted that his organisation is looking towards a
UIPM President Klaus Schormann has insisted that his organisation is looking towards a "new horizon" after axing horse riding ©UIPM

"We have listened to the IOC and followed Agenda 2020+5.

"We are following all the issues that have been given by the IOC and we want to be a strong partner based on Coubertin in the Olympic Movement - that’s our goal.

"The IOC and the Olympic Movement can be very proud as we have no scandals and no crazy methods in our union that people can shout against us and make crazy stories.

"You will not finding it here, but we respect people who have another opinion.

"Why should we be angry towards them?

"They live in their philosophy, so let them continue."

The UIPM’s decision to drop the riding discipline was met with a fierce backlash from pentathletes, while critics have also accused the organisation of a lack of transparency over the process of finding a replacement.

A Fifth Discipline Working Group, headed by Schormann, was formed to oversee the process, with the UIPM claiming that it considered 61 proposals to replace riding.

Two variations of obstacle racing were selected for testing with events staged Ankara in Turkey, Manila in the Philippines, Lignano in Italy and Zielona Góra in Poland.

Each event has been held in different settings, using many new obstacles as the UIPM considers the make-up of the discipline.

The process to replace horse riding as the fifth element has been criticised ©Getty Images
The process to replace horse riding as the fifth element has been criticised ©Getty Images

Obstacle racing is expected to be proposed as the fifth discipline to the UIPM Congress, scheduled to be held online from November 12 to 13.

"We have a product but over the generations we have changed it," said Schormann.

"We know we have tradition and we are proud about that.

"But we have to continue to go towards a new horizon because every day a new horizon is coming up and that’s what we have to understand.

"The world is changing and we have to adapt.

"We want to go with the movement, we don’t want to be lost.

"We are now giving the union a new hope, a new possibility to go ahead to a new future at Los Angeles 2028 and Brisbane 2032.

"That’s what we want to give.

"The youngsters are the generation for 2028 and we all know that.

"You have the time to modify so there are lots of possibility to train so people can adapt for the future which is important, so we are not going from here to there immediately.

"There is a transition for everyone mentally and physically, supported by medical people and by people coming from academic side."