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Modern Pentathlon 101: Equipment

Modern Pentathlon
USA TODAY Sports

Modern Pentathlon 101: Equipment

Learn more about the equipment used in modern pentathlon. 

Fencing

Epee: A thrusting sword descended from the dueling sword, similar in length to a foil but heavier, with a larger guard and a much stiffer blade.

Mask: Made of wire mesh with gaps of less than 1/10 of an inch; the wire, with a minimum gauge of one millimeter in diameter, is usually stainless steel. The bib of a mask is made with cloth resistant to 1600 Newtons (twice as strong as uniform material). The mask includes a safety strap at the back. Masks for epee must be shaped so the bib reaches below the collar bone prominences (clavicles).

White Uniforms: Fencers wear white uniforms because, in the pre-electric days of the sport, touches were determined by an ink spot left on the uniform by the weapon. The fencers' clothing must be made entirely of "robust" material able to resist a pressure of 800 Newtons. The material cannot have a smooth surface that might allow weapons' points or touches to glance off the uniform. The way seams are made, especially under the armpits, is particularly important for safety. An under-garment consisting of a protective plastron pad covering the upper body, especially vital organs, is mandatory. The uniform consists of a jacket, knickers and gloves made of protective material.

Equestrian show jumping

Breeches: Trousers worn specifically for riding.

Bridle: A harness that fits around a horse's head.

Fence: In the riding discipline, a vertical obstacle no higher than 1.20m but involving substantial width. Usually constructed with colorful poles, planks, hedges, fake stone or brick, or flowers.

Gate: A vertical fence used in riding, made with planks, balustrades or other items to present a solid obstacle.

Saddle: The leather seat on a horse's back.

Spur: A pointed device attached to a rider's boot heel, used to encourage a horse. 

Combined event (Shooting)

Laser pistol: A pistol using new technology developed to perfectly replicate an athlete shooting a traditional air pellet pistol while reducing lead pollution from pellets and offering cheaper, more fan-friendly venues.

Modern Pentathlon 101

Learn more about modern pentathlon:

Basics | Competition format | Equipment | Glossary | Olympic history | Qualification | Venues

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