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Page last updated at 10:14 GMT, Monday, 23 August 2010 11:14 UK

Pentathlon switches to laser guns for London 2012 Games

Pentathlete holding air pistol
Pentathletes currently use air pistols in the sport's finale, the combined event

Laser guns will replace traditional air pistols in the modern pentathlon at the 2012 London Olympics after a successful trial at the inaugural Youth Olympics.

The technology will reduce the cost of the shooting element of the five-event sport by two thirds, while the improved safety could mean new venues are used.

Klaus Schormann, president of world governing body the UIPM, said: "We will have laser shooting for London.

"We can now hold competitions in parks and shopping malls."

Schormann, who is in Singapore for the 14-day Youth Olympics, which finish on Thursday, added: "Based on this new technology, all countries in the world can compete in our sport.

"Safety issues will no longer be a big concern."

The new technology, which first appeared at June's World Cup final in Moscow after years of testing, has also been backed by the sport's honorary president, Prince Albert of Monaco.

"It is a great improvement to the sport," he stated.


"They [the laser guns] will be easier to carry around and to take on aeroplanes. It's the way of the future."

The switch to laser technology is the second major alteration to the sport since the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Modern pentathlon has already merged its two final events, running and shooting, to create a combined run-shoot finale.

The three other events that make up the sport are swimming, fencing and showjumping.

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see also
Pentathlon chief backs laser guns
13 Apr 10 |  Modern Pentathlon
Modern Pentathlon World Cup highlights
12 Apr 10 |  Modern Pentathlon
Spence wins home World Cup bronze
11 Apr 10 |  Modern Pentathlon
Run and shoot with Heather Fell
14 Aug 09 |  Modern Pentathlon
Pentathlon's shot in the dark
13 Aug 09 |  Modern Pentathlon

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