Athletes representing more than 30 nations in the Olympic sport of Modern Pentathlon will descend on Fairplex Park in Pomona, California to compete in the second World Cup of the 2018 season March 26 – 30. USA Pentathlon Multisport, the U.S. governing body of Pentathlon, together with Fairplex Park, will host the first major international sporting event in the greater LA area since Los Angeles was awarded the 2028 Olympic Games in September of 2017.
Fairplex Park of Pomona, California is the site of the largest county fair in California, and will host the event for the second consecutive year, which will have more than 150 competitors. The Sheraton Fairplex will house the numerous teams attending bringing the action to a single venue. Men’s 2016 Olympic champion, Alexander Lesun, of Russia, along with 2016 Olympic silver medalist, Elodie Couvel, of France, are scheduled to compete.
“We are excited to host the Modern Pentathlon World Cup at Fairplex. It’s a big event, it puts Fairplex in the international spotlight so we’ve been working feverishly to plan a world-class competition,” said Miguel A. Santana, president and CEO of Fairplex. “This is a great opportunity for the community to experience an Olympic-level international sporting event right here in Southern California. And with the 2028 Olympics being in Los Angeles, we already have Olympic fever!”
A strong U.S. team made up of the U.S. Army’s World Class Athlete Program will lead Team USA’s 24-person athlete delegation. “We are delighted to be hosting one of the most prestigious events on the Olympic calendar for 2018 in Los Angeles county, site of the 2028 Olympic Games,” said Tom Shepard, board chair of USA Pentathlon Multisport, who, along with Miguel Santana, Fairplex president and CEO, will welcome the athletes and dignitaries to Southern California.
Semifinal events will be held Monday and Tuesday March 26 and 27 with Men’s and Women’s finals on March 28 and 29. The Mixed Relay takes place on Friday the 30. All finals begin at 1:30 p.m. at Fairplex Park. Admission is free to the public.
Modern Pentathlon, one of the oldest and most traditional of all summer Olympic events, includes equestrian show-jumping, swimming, epee fencing, laser shooting and running was created by the founder of the modern Olympic movement as a test of the world’s most complete athlete. Its unique format is based on the tasks required of a 19th century military messenger.
Whereby the messenger would receive the message and be required to deliver it across a battlefield fraught with danger. The messenger would take the first available horse, very likely not his own, and gallop away jumping over any obstacle in his path. If confronted by an advisory he would defend himself first with pistol, then with sword and then continue riding on. If a river was in his path, the messenger would swim across and then finally deliver his message racing on foot.
The event was the brain-child of Baron Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games and was modeled after the original Pentathlon of the ancient Greek games which consisted of five skills required to be a great soldier of the ancient era. The modern event consists of a showjumping course with athletes drawing horses by lot, 200 meter freestyle swim, epee fencing in a one-touch format with the final discipline being an exciting combination of laser shooting with pistols and running.
The sport was immediately adopted by the militaries of the world. America’s first representative at the Olympic Games was none other than a young lieutenant Patton who would become one of the greatest Generals the world has ever known.