Joe Choong: Olympic champion in modern pentathlon fears that changes could end the sport

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BBC Sport – Olympics
Joe Choong completed the show jumping discipline in Tokyo before winning Olympic gold in the modern pentathlon

The Olympic champion in modern pentathlon, Joe Choong, fears for the future of the sport according to the umbrella organization has announced that it will drop show jumping from the multidisciplinary event.

The modern pentathlon was first introduced at the 1912 Olympics, but changes approved last week would mean the removal of the equestrian division after the 2024 Paris Games.

Choong, who won gold in Tokyo, worries that without its history the sport could soon cease to exist.

“It’s such a historic sport and without riding we lose all of this history and then what do we become?” he told BBC Points West.

Modern pentathlon includes cross-country skiing, freestyle swimming, fencing, pistol shooting, and show jumping.

The 26-year-old Choong added: “We have had one foot outside the door for the past few cycles and I am really concerned that this could be a trap that we could fall into – and this could be the end of the sport. ” self.”

A German trainer was kicked out the Tokyo Olympics after hitting a horse that refused to jump, ruining his rider’s chances.

Choong agreed that changes need to be made to the sport, but blamed the International Modern Pentathlon Union [UIPM] to make the decision “behind closed doors” without consulting the athletes.

He said: “Riding has 100% its place in modern pentathlon. As athletes we know there have been problems and we want to change them, we just want to get the chance to go to UIPM and talk to them and present them . ” Ideas.

“UIPM just turned a blind eye and now, after 20 years of doing nothing, they realize that we have a big problem and they think the easiest way to solve it is to get rid of it completely.”

Choong, who trains in Bath, is one of more than 650 athletes out there signed a letter of no confidenceexternal link in the governing body and calls for a change in leadership. Elsewhere, nearly 6,000 people have it signed a petitionexternal link to “save” the sport.

“I haven’t spoken to a single athlete, retired or current, who supports this decision from around the world,” he said.

The board of directors will discuss the changes with the athletes in a tender on November 12th.

“The fact that you are now saying, ‘Oh, we’re listening’ is just offensive. It’s a little too late and I’m not sure your suggestion is sincere.”

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