Pentathlon: World Cup events postponed to May due to coronavirus

(Reuters) - The rest of the modern pentathlon World Cup season has been postponed until May due to the coronavirus pandemic, governing body UIPM said in a statement on Sunday.

The UPIM also said it had written to the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) sport department to ask that the Olympic qualification deadline be extended to June 30 from May 31.

The decision to postpone the season affects World Cup events in Bulgaria and Hungary, and the World Cup final in South Korea.

“In making the decision to cancel all UIPM competition activity in March and April we hope to contribute in a significant way to the international effort to combat the spread of the virus,” UIPM President Klaus Schormann said.

Vice-President Juan Antonio Samaranch said the UIPM needed to do all it could to protect the Olympic qualification process.

“The position of the IOC has been very firm: the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will start on July 24 and there has been no indication from the health authorities that consideration should be given to cancelling the Games,” Samaranch added.

“Nobody can know what the situation will be in two or three months’ time, so I am convinced that UIPM is doing the right thing in making this provisional decision about the 2020 season.”

Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond