Following an incredibly successful and well-received Obstacle Discipline test event in Ankara, Turkey on June 27-28, there will be a follow-up test event in the Philippines in early August.
The New Pentathlon Discipline Test Event II will be held in Bridgetowne Central Park, in Manila, on August 6-7, coinciding with the Asian portion of the Ninja World Cup.
The two-day event will kick off with a practical explanation and a free training session, followed by qualification rounds and finals.
"It’s amazing news that the New Pentathlon Discipline is coming to Asia," said Thailand's Sasitorn Kunkit, who will be competing in the test event. "I’m so excited to meet athletes from other countries during the test event in Manila. If Obstacle Discipline replaces riding in modern pentathlon, it means we can truly dream of competing in the Olympic Games."
Added Poranat Charoenying, another aspiring pentathlete from Thailand, "I’m really excited to take part in the test event in August. I think it will be very interesting, as a pentathlete, to test my skills on the obstacle course and learn how the obstacle athletes train and race.
"I’ve seen obstacle racing shows like Ninja Warrior on TV, and it’s such a buzz. It’s amazing to think we might be able to compete in this kind of racing in the future.”
Following this second test event, the UIPM (Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne) Congress will vote on a proposal to be submitted to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). If passed, Obstacle Discipline would become the fifth discipline of modern pentathlon after the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, and it could potentially be featured in the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
What Was the Consensus After the First Test Event in Turkey?
In the aftermath of the first test event in Turkey, 28 of the 36 participating pentathletes completed a survey provided by the UIPM. A second survey was completed by nine participating obstacle athletes, and a third was answered by 15 coaches and officials. The consensus was extremely positive, as 92% of pentathletes and 93% of observers reported that they were satisfied with the event. Additionally, 84% of pentathletes approved of the design of the obstacles, 68% approved of the physical demands of the course, and 72% approved of the head-to-head format.
Below are the obstacles that were featured in the first test event:
- Rope Swing
- Balance Beams
- Warped Wall
The course was built in collaboration with World Obstacle, Tokyo Broadcasting System, and Spartan Race. Giles Chater, Spartan's Senior Vice President of International, helped set and refine it.
“The FISO and UIPM athletes, officials, and organizers did an excellent job delivering a balanced course and competition for Test Event I," said FISO (Fédération Internationale de Sports d’Obstacles) President Ian Adamson. "The goal of the course was to provide a balanced representation of the wide diversity of obstacles and formats in obstacle course racing and Ninja competitions.
“The overwhelming consensus is we achieved this objective. We are excited to refine the course for the second test, taking into account observations and feedback from the first test and from the pentathlon and obstacle communities.”