20 Aug 16 - GOLD FOR CHLOE EXPOSITO IN RIO!     History has been made today when Chloe Esposito won gold in the Womens Modern Pentathlon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.  This is Australia's first ever Modern Pentathlon medal.

Getting Started

What is a Modern Pentathlon?

The Modern Pentathlon is multi-discipline sport made up of five very different sports.  It is said that Baron de Coubertin specifically chose the 5 sports to replicate the skills required of an army messenger in the Napoleonic wars to successfully deliver a message to headquarters.  Ride a horse, use his pistol and sword to defend himself, swimming a river and finally running cross country to deliver the message. This sport  would have to be a rigorous test of the athletes mental and physical abilities. Swimming and Cross Country Running test the physical skill and stamina. Showjumping horses tests the courage, Fencing tests both the physical and quick mental ability whilst Target Pistol Shooting tests the calm controlled disposition of the athlete. 

A successful pentathlete it is not the specialist athlete who is a excels in a single sport but the athlete who has the ability to do well in 5 sports and overcome adversity.  If the athletes result isn't as hoped in one of the disciplines, he or she has to have the mental toughness to leave the past behind focus on the next challenge.


The sport of Modern Pentathlon offers something for people of all abilities.  The wonderful community feel of the sport welcomes newcomers and the casual participant, while the sport offers a fantastic pathway for talented athletes who dream of representing Australia at the World Championships and Olympic Games.

While the concept of five sports may seem daunting, there are in fact many easy, quick and cheap ways to experience this exciting sport.

Tetrathon, Equathlon: These are events that combine some of the disciplines in one day competitions. Either participate and try the event or go along and watch to see if this is of interest.

Youth events do not include horse riding: No need to have a horse or riding skills to start the sport

Equipment to borrow: We can arrange ways in which qualified athletes can borrow equipment to develop skills, if need be.

Laser shooting: The sport is environmentally friendly – we use laser pistols!

Coaches and sport community happy to help along the way: need advice, encouragement and details on how to train. We want to develop potential athletes and help you achieve your best.

Ed Fernon only started training for the sport at the age of 20 and three years later he was representing Australia at the 2012 Olympic Games. Could this be you too???

Read Ed’s story here 

Contact your state association

Talented Athletes / Got Talent?

Do you have the potential to be an Olympic Pentathlete?  One of the great benefits of the sport is that it offers a pathway to represent Australia at the Olympic Games – and as a smaller sport these opportunities could come very quickly.  If you already have high level talent in one or more of the five sports you might be amazed at how soon you could be at an international level and competing in the green and gold uniform. 

Modern Pentathlon Australia is always on the lookout for talented athletes.  If you are close to or can achieve some of the performances below you may already be on your way to being an international level pentathlete and should make contact with Modern Pentathlon Australia to discuss opportunities in the sport. Remember – if your strengths and past history lie in one particular discipline (eg swimming or running) we can help you transition these skills into the other areas.

Note: Most elite modern pentathletes do have some history with and aptitude for endurance events, and an elite level pentathlete will certainly already need competent swimming ability.

Youth (under 18) 

As an indication, our representatives for the next Youth Olympic Games can

Swim (200m) – Male / female  Male-2.06, Female -2.30

Run (3000m) -  Male -10.00, female-11.00

Fence – MPA is seeking any athlete already competing at the national level in Fencing

Shooting -  Male ,and female average 20-30 seconds each series.

Horse Riding – The equestrian event is only included in Modern Pentathlon from the Junior level (19-21 years)

Senior (22 and above)

As an indication, our athletes who represented Australian at the London Olympic Games could achieve the following standards/experience

Swimming (200m) – male, and female-2.10

Running (3000m) – male-9.00, female-10.30

Fencing – male and female average between 750-850 points per competition

Shooting – male and female average 15-25 seconds per series

Horse Riding – 12 obstacles at 1.2 meters in height ,averaging 1100 points or better.     


Steps to Getting Started

  1.  Join your state Modern Pentathlon Association
  2. Running - Start doing running training - basically you need to be able to run 4 x 800m with a short 30 second break
  3. Swimming - attend your local swim club and let the coach know that you need to be able to swim 200m freestyle fast.
  4. Fencing - join a fencing class in your city - tell the fencing coach that you need to learn Epee.  You will need to be able to fence up to 35 x 2 minute "one-hit" bouts.
  5. Showjumping - join your local showjumping club and learn to jump on different horses.
  6. Shooting - join your local ISSF pistol club and learn to shoot Olympic 10m Air Pistol. In some states it can take nearly a year to obtain your weapons licence and purchase an air pistol.  Eventually combine running an 800m run with shooting 5 air pistol targets.
  7. The Combined Event. - Handicap Start - shoot 5, run 800m, shoot 5, run 800m, shoot 5, run 800m, shoot 5, run 800m - first to the finish line wins.