Modern pentathletes fence using an epee, which is a sharp-pointed duelling sword with its end blunted. The target area is the entire body from head to toe. Bouts last for one minute, or until one hit or touch is scored. Pentathletes fence every pentathlete in the competition, in a round robin format. Points are awarded according to the ratio of bouts won to bouts lost.
Swimming – Pentathletes swim 200, 100, or 50 metres depending on their age. Freestyle or front crawl is the stroke of choice because it is the fastest. The faster the time the more points the athlete earns.
Equestrian Riding Pentathletes do not ride their own horse in competition. Instead, pentathletes draw a number to determine their horse. Athletes have a 20-minute warm-up and five practice jumps before entering the riding course. The course consists of 12 jumps including a double and a triple jump. Athletes are awarded 1,200 pentathlon points at the start of the competition and lose points for missing jumps and time faults.
Athletes shoot with .177 calibre air pistol at five dropping or electronic targets 10 metres away. They then run one kilometre, shoot another five targets, followed by another kilometre, five more targets and finally a kilometre run to the finish. Points are awarded by time. The athlete with the most points starts first, with the remaining athletes starting in a staggered order determined by one second intervals for every foir point difference.