Tickets have gone on sale for the 2009 Modern Pentathlon World Championships, which take place at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in London from August 13-17, it was announced today.
The competition - the highpoint of the 2009 modern pentathlon calendar - is the first World Championships held in an Olympic sport in London since 1986.
It will also be the first time the Modern Pentathlon World Championships have been held in the UK since 2001 and the first World Championships to feature the sport's new combined run/shoot format.
Tickets for the Championships can be bought in advance online through Ticketmaster - at a discounted rate before June 15 - and will also be available on the gate.
Peter Hart, the chief executive of Pentathlon GB, said: "The World Championships are the biggest event on the modern pentathlon calendar in 2009 and it's particularly exciting to host them in London just three years before the London 2012 Olympics Games.
"Britain has a terrific track record in modern pentathlon and hopefully competing on home soil will give our athletes an extra boost.
"It will be great to see some British athletes on the podium at Crystal Palace."
The World Championships are being supported by UK Sport's Major Events Team and also provide an opportunity to train and qualify some of the officials that will be involved in the modern pentathlon at the London 2012 Olympics.
Hart siad: "We've had terrific support from UK Sport's Major Events Team in the build-up to the World Championships and would like to publicly thank them for that support."
Lucy Crickmore, UK Sport Events consultant, said: "UK Sport is delighted to be supporting Pentathlon GB in staging the 2009 World Modern Pentathlon Championships, which will be the first World Championships to be hosted by London within the 2012 Olympiad, via our National Lottery funded World Class Events Programme.
"To bring this world class event onto home soil will not only aid the preparation of our athletes, but also event managers, officials and volunteers in the build up to the London Olympic Games."
Each nation can enter up to four athletes of each gender for the Championships.
The competition for places in the women's Britain's team will be particularly intense.
Katy Livingston (pictured), the World Championship bronze medallist, said: "It's great to have the World Championships in London.
"It will be good to have our family and friends there and to have home support getting behind us."
Sam Weale, who finished 10th at Beijing 2008, said: "I've never competed at a World Championships in my home country and I'm really looking forward to it, particularly as a warm-up for London 2012.
"You don't get that opportunity too often."
The Championships provide an opportunity to see the world's top pentathletes battling it out in a sport that is one of the most challenging and fascinating there is.
Athletes have to master five very different disciplines - fencing, swimming and equestrian challenges, followed by the new climax to the event, the combined run/shoot.
The World Championships run from Thursday August 13 through to Monday August 17.
Tickets are only required for Saturday August 15 and Sunday August 16 - admission is free for the Thursday, Friday and Monday, when the relays will be held.
Crystal Palace has a track record of modern pentathlon firsts.
In 1977 it hosted the first international pentathlon competition in the one-day format that is now standard in the sport.
Four years later Crystal Palace hosted the first women's World Championships, when Wendy Norman, Sarah Parker and Kathy Tyler won the team gold for Britain.
It is the sixth time Britain has hosted the Modern Pentathlon World Championships.
The last occasion was at Millfield in Somerset in 2001, when Britain's women collected four medals.
Stephanie Cook won the individual gold with Georgina Harland taking bronze.
Cook, Kate Allenby and Sian Lewis combined to win team gold with Cook, Allenby and Harland winning team relay gold.
The 2009 Modern Pentathlon World Championships are the first World Championships to be held in London in an Olympic sport since 1986, when Australia beat England 2-1 in the men's hockey final.
For further information about buying tickets please go to World Championships website at http://www.pentathlongb.org/mpwc and click on 'Spectator Info'.