For over 100 years, the modern pentathlon was a fixture at the Olympics, with the five-event competition going on largely without incident. That ended at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics when German coach Kim Raisner punched a horse ahead of the women's competition in August.
Now, less than three months later, the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM) has decided to make a change to the pentathlon. Horse riding is out of the modern pentathlon and cycling will take its place, according to a report from The Guardian.
It's a major change for an event that traces its roots to ancient Greece. The ancient pentathlon included running, jumping, spear-throwing, discus and wrestling. The modern version, which had included pistol shooting, fencing, swimming, horse riding and running, made its debut at the 1912 Stockholm games.
At the Tokyo Games, competitors could not meet their horses until shortly before the horse-riding portion of the competition began, and several riders struggled with their horses. One such rider was Germany's Annika Schleu. After Raisner punched Schleu's horse, Saint Boy, the horse refused to jump.
Schleu, who was in position to medal in the event, burst into tears and finished 31st. Raisner was banned from the Games.
Prior to that incident, Saint Boy had not allowed the Russia Olympic Committee's Gulnaz Gubaydullina to ride, either. UIPM announced in a statement it would "conduct a full review of the Riding discipline of the Women's Modern Pentathlon at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (and) reinforce the importance of horse welfare and athlete safety across the entire global competition structure."
The result is that cycling will be the newest event, a change that, according to The Guardian's report, the UIPM hopes will keep the modern pentathlon as an Olympic event in 2024.