The KMPF has opted to support replacing riding with obstacle ©Getty Images

The Korean Modern Pentathlon Federation (KMPF) has voiced its support for replacing riding with an obstacle discipline after conducting a petition.

A total of 606 athletes, coaches, officials and concerned persons such as family, friends and fans signed a petition to endorse the International Modern Pentathlon Union's (UIPM) planned change.

The sport was not included in the provisional programme for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games and the UIPM is looking to axe riding after Paris 2024.

"We are going to embrace more popular sport, obstacle event, as a new fifth discipline of the modern pentathlon in order to keep it in the official programme of 2028 LA Olympic Games and also to expand the base of the modern pentathlon all around the world, instead of the riding," the KMPF said.

"We consider this is a wise choice for a new turning point and a better future of the modern pentathlon.

"In this regard, we have conducted the signature campaign in Korea and delivered the signatures to UIPM, confirming that we fully support the stance of the UIPM on the way in which they are introducing replacing riding in order to stay in the Olympic Games."

In a recent survey by Pentathlon United, an excess of 92 per cent of pentathletes asked in a survey indicated equestrian is their preferred option for the fifth modern pentathlon discipline.

A reformed version of equastrian, which priorities horse welfare and acknowledges cost and accessibility, drew the support of the majority of respondents with 74.18 per cent.

Obstacle racing was trailed at a test event in Ankara last month ©UIPM
Obstacle racing was trailed at a test event in Ankara last month ©UIPM

Equestrian without any changes finished second with 16.43 per cent.

A ninja-style race and obstacle received 3.76 per cent each.

A total of 213 participants from 40 countries took part in the survey with 68.5 per cent being current athletes.

Despite the results of the survey, the UIPM is continuing to push for obstacle to replace riding as the fifth discipline.

"The aim of the new pentathlon discipline process is to transform modern pentathlon into one of the most popular, accessible and sports in the Olympic Games," UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said.

South Korea participated in the second obstacle test event in Ankara.

Jun Woong-tae made history for South Korea at Tokyo 2020 when he became the first modern penathlete from the Asian nation to claim an Olympic medal, earning bronze in the men's event.

Marco Tomasini, secretary general of the Malta Modern Pentathlon Association, claimed that the reformed fifth discipline was the "real booster" it needed to restore its UIPM membership.

According to World Obstacle, Tomasini represents the Malta Sport For All - a member of the European Obstacle Sports Federation.

The drive to change by the UIPM Executive Board was accelerated after German trainer punched a horse, causing animal welfare concerns, at Tokyo 2020.