Modern Pentathlon: Laser Guns To Replace Air Pistols

The modern pentathlon event at the London Olympics in 2012 will witness a major change that could revolutionize the sport and attract many more competitors to it.

The London event will oversee the replacement of air pistols by laser guns, a move that was finalized after a trial run at the Youth Olympics has proved to be huge success.

The move will bring benefits in multiple ways. First of all, it will be cheaper to have laser guns in place of air pistols. In fact, it will reduce the cost of holding the event by two-thirds. Secondly, it will mean much greater safety, and thereby facilitate the holding the event at new venues.

Klaus Schormann, the president of the UIPM, the world governing body, announced the decision and said that the competition could now be held in shopping malls and parks. Schormann is currently attending the inaugural Youth Olympics being held in Singapore; the event is due to end on Thursday, October 7.

Schormann emphasized that the use of the new technology would allow all countries to participate in the modern pentathlon. Earlier, there was a restriction on ho could prticipate, as there were unanswered concerns about safety. Those concerns would no longer be valid, once laser guns replaced the traditional air pistols, Schormann said.

The new technology had been undergoing tests for several years before it was finally tested at an international event. The first event that witnessed laser guns being used in place of air pistols was the World Cup final in Moscow, in June this year.

Importantly, Prince Albert of Monaco has backed the use of laser guns in place of air pistols; Prince Albert is the honorary president of the sport. The prince has expressed an opinion that it was a great improvement to the sport.

In particular, he was impressed by the easy mobility of laser guns which could be transported by plane. He said that the move facilitated the introduction to a way of the future.
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The introduction of laser technology is not the first change modern pentathlon has witnessed recently. The first winds of change in the sport blew during the 2008 Olympics. During the Beijing event, the two final events of the modern pentathlon, running and shooting were merged. This led to the introduction of a new event, the run-shoot.

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