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Pentathlon Canada was represented at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games by Melanie McCann and Donna Vakalis, both competing in their second consecutive Olympic Games. Canada notably dominated the women’s fencing portion of the event, with the 2 Canadian women in the top 4 after the completion of the fencing portion.

For full results, visit https://www.olympic.org/rio-2016/modern-pentathlon.

More about Pentathlon at Rio 2016 »

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.

5 Fencing Facts

  • You must be fit, agile and tactile
  • It is forbidden to turn one’s back on one’s opponent during a bout
  • 70% bouts won corresponds to 250 points
  • No one is to approach the piste area and disturb the bout
  • Use of the non-sword hand and arm to carry out an offensive or defensive action is forbidden
  • The athlete can add to their bouts won during the bonus round

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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.

5 Swimming Facts

  • You must have technique and strength
  • Race is by a whistle or start pistol start with a dive after a whistle to take your marks
  • Judges will observe turns and times will be recorded
  • After finishing, swimmers must stay in the water until referee signals to exit the pool
  • Swimmers meeting set times will be awarded 250 points times above or below each .33 seconds will be awarded =/- 4 points

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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 300 pentathlon points at the start of the competition and lose points for missing jumps and time faults.

5 Riding Facts

  • You must be fit, react quickly and be experienced
  • 300 points is a clear round within the time allowed
  • Speed 350m /minute. The length of course is 350 – 450m
  • Spectators are asked to remain quiet while athletes are riding
  • Applause and cheering is appreciated after the course is completed

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The finale of the pentathlon is the combined run and shoot event. Competitors alternate between four rounds of shooting with laser pistols at 10 metre distance at a target within a 50-second time frame and Four 800 metre runs. Competitors begin the combined shooting and running event in the order of their finish in the previous three events combined, and the first athlete to cross the finish line after the fourth 800 metre run is the winner of the competition.

5 Running and Shooting Facts

  • To shoot Pentathletes must have concentration and self control
  • Running Pentathletes must have stamina, strength and determination
  • Pentathletes finish the competition with a shoot/run combination
  • Total points after the first three events in the competition determines the start order
  • The first athlete to finish the shoot/run wins the overall pentathlon competition

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In the News

Pentathlon Canada announces new National Team Standards
Pentathlon Canada announces new National Team Standards The board of directors of Pentathlon Canada has approved a new set of National Team Standards effective Jan... Read more »

Canadian Modern Pentathlon Team Nominated for Rio 2016
Two modern pentathlon athletes chosen to represent Canada TORONTO — On Wednesday, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Pentathlon Canada named the two athlet... Read more »

Melanie McCann

Modern Pentathlon is a very
unique sport due to the fact
that it is made up of five
completely different sports.

Melanie McCann Signature

Melanie McCann

Ottawa, ON

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