The UIPM's survey says that 88 per cent of respondents were satisfied with the obstacle test events ©UIPM

The International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) has claimed that 88 per cent of surveyed athletes were satisfied with the obstacle test events as the governing body looks poised to select the discipline as riding's replacement.

A total of four test events that looked at obstacle's suitability in modern pentathlon took place between June and October.

The questionnaire was taken by participants in the sport from the under-17 age category up to seniors.

UIPM President Klaus Schormann thinks that the change could revolutionise the Olympic Games should it pass to replace riding.

"We can say without fear of contradiction that obstacle discipline has caught the imagination of our global community, and it has the potential to transform our historic multi-sport into a far more popular, accessible and exciting spectator sport that adds value to the Olympic Games and inspires young people in every country around the world," said Schormann at a media conference in Monaco.

Advocates of the change argue that its biggest selling points are that obstacle will make modern pentathlon far more accessible and will be much more appealing to youth.

A vote is set to take place at the governing body's Congress from November 12 to 13 on whether to install obstacle as modern pentathlon's fifth discipline.

A total of four obstacle test events have been held since June which the UIPM claims were a success among the pentathletes ©UIPM
A total of four obstacle test events have been held since June which the UIPM claims were a success among the pentathletes ©UIPM

"Having attended all four test events, I can tell you that this new discipline is going to change our sport forever," said UIPM Athletes' Committee chair and double world champion Yesser Hefny of Egypt.

"For athletes, it is an exciting new challenge that will make the sport more accessible around the world.

"For fans, especially young fans, it will make the sport a lot more appealing.

"For the Olympic Games, this will attract a whole new audience and add value to the Games."

Riding is set to feature at the Olympics for the last time at Paris 2024 before being dropped as the UIPM hopes to salvage the sport's place at Los Angeles 2028.

Despite the reported success, Schormann admitted there are enhancements that need to be made to the operation of obstacle.

"Clearly there is room for improvement in the way the obstacle courses are set up, and the new Fifth Discipline Working Group will closely study the feedback and make recommendations to the Executive Board so that we can plan carefully for the integration of obstacle discipline into modern pentathlon starting from the 2023 season, with a full implementation after 2024," he said.

In July, campaign group Pentathlon United also conducted a survey which claimed that 92 per cent of pentathletes questioned wanted to keep riding.