U.S. Awarded World Cup in 2011

July 11, 2010, 11:54 a.m. (ET)

The United States has been awarded the honor of hosting the World Cup for the Olympic sport of Modern Pentathlon in each of the years 2011-2014.  Host cities are Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage, California.  The announcement was made at the Executive Board meeting of The International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) in Moscow, Russia. 

Each year, the UIPM awards five World Cup events to cities around the world, with athletes earning qualifying points for the World Cup Final and Olympic Games each year. The Palm Springs/Rancho Mirage event marks the first World Cup on U.S. soil since 1999. The prestigious event is scheduled for Feb. 24-27, 2011.

“Hosting the World Cup in Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage allows us to firmly create a home-court stop leading up to the Olympic Games of 2012”, said Rob Stull, managing director of USA Pentathlon and three-time Olympian in the sport.

“We are proud that the international community recognized the merits of the exceptional bid put forth by these two remarkable American communities and look forward to welcoming the World in February, 2011,” echoed Barry Machett, chairman of the board for USA Pentathlon.

Modern pentathlon is one of the oldest Olympic sports, having been created especially for the Summer Olympic Games by the founder of those modern Games, Baron Pierre de Coubertin. It was first contested in 1912, with a young Lieutenant George Patton of World War II fame competing. Coubertin was inspired by the pentathlon event in the ancient Olympic Games, circa 776 B.C., which was modeled after the skills of the ideal soldier at the time. The modern pentathlon simulates the experience of a 19th-century cavalry soldier behind enemy lines: he/she must ride an unfamiliar horse, fight with pistol and sword, swim, and run. Therefore, the modern pentathlon event comprises the five sport disciplines:

• épée fencing
• pistol shooting
• 200-meter freestyle swimming
• show jumping on horseback
• 3km cross country running

The riding event is an equestrian stadium jumping event where the athlete (called a “pentathlete”) must ride a horse he/she does not know over a course comprised of 12 obstacles. Fencing is only one hit, in order to simulate a duel. Swimming is a 200-meter freestyle race. The shooting and running events are combined where the athlete must run 1000 meters, stop and shoot five targets with a pistol -  then do it again – three times for a total of 15 targets and 3000 meters (about 2 miles). Each event is scored using a simple points system and the winner is the athlete with the highest point total — easily visible as the running/shooting event is handicapped and the first person across the finish line is the overall pentathlon winner.

World Cup Quick Facts
The event will be headquartered at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif., which will also play host to the opening and closing ceremonies.
• Swimming: Palm Springs Swim Center, Palm Springs
• Fencing: Xavier College Preparatory High School, Palm Desert
• Ride: Equestrian Centers International (ECI), Rancho Mirage
• Run/shoot: Equestrian Centers International (ECI), Rancho Mirage
This event is expected to be the first World Cup in history to use laser guns and targets during the running/shooting portion of the event.
Preliminary schedule of events
February 23 (Wednesday)
Arrival of delegations
Opening ceremony
Technical meeting 
February 24 (Thursday)
Women’s qualification competition
February 25 (Friday)
Men’s qualification competition
February 26 (Saturday)
Women’s Individual Final
February 27 (Sunday)
Men’s Individual Final
February 28 (Monday)
Departure of delegations

For Additional Information : Connie Ballard, World Cup Communications: 626-993-7828 or USA Pentathlon: 719-866-3029 or email info@usapentathlon.org

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