2014 Modern Pentathlon coming to Sarasota-Manatee this week

srocco@bradenton.comJune 4, 2014 

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- The 2014 Modern Pentathlon World Cup Final, deemed the most elegant of Olympic sports, is coming to Sarasota-Manatee this Thursday through Sunday.

The World Cup Final, held at The Selby Aquatic Center and the Sarasota Polo Club, features five events: swimming, equestrian show-jumping, fencing, running and pistol shooting. The games will showcase the top 36 male and 36 female pentathlon athletes from around the world who are striving to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.

Here is the full lineup of

events for this week's world-class tournament.

Thursday

The opening ceremony will take place from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. There will be an Olympic-style Parade of Athletes, a salute to U.S. Military and music by the U.S. Army Brass Quintet.

"This is an exclusive opportunity for the public to mingle with the champions of pentathlon," said Miranda Spinner, pentathlon spokeswoman.

The International Olympic Committee will award Col. John Russell the Baron de Coubertin Medal of Honor. Col. Russell was the aide-de-camp to Gen. George Patton in World War II. When Adolf Hitler ordered all of the Lipizzan stallions to be destroyed, the duo sent troops to save the horses. Col. Russell became heavily involved in pentathlon and trained Olympians from all over the world.

"He's been an iconic figure in these games, and he's being awarded for lifelong service," said John Amabile, spokesman for USA Pentathlon.

Hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar will be provided. Tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased online at sbpentathlon.com.

Friday

The first day of the games begins at The Selby Aquatic center. Women's fencing starts at 7:30 a.m. and women's swimming at 10:15 a.m.; tickets for events at Selby are sold out for the entire competition.

Gates at the Sarasota Polo Club, 8201 Polo Club Lane, Lakewood Ranch, open at 11:30 a.m. for the rest of the day's events. The public is encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets as bleacher seating is limited.

Food vendors will be on site, but attendees are welcome to bring coolers.

"It's going to be a festival-style atmosphere, family friendly fun," Spinner said. "It's not going to be like going to a golf tournament."

Events at the Polo Club are:

• 12:30 p.m., women's fencing final

• 2 p.m., women's equestrian jumping

• 4:30 p.m., women's combined event: running and laser pistol shooting

• 4:50 p.m., women's final medal awards ceremony

One day admission is $12 for adults, $5 for children, students, seniors or veterans. A three-day pass for the entire competition is $35 for adults, $12 for children, students, seniors or veterans. Tickets can be purchased at sbpentathlon.com.

Saturday

The men's events kick off at The Selby Aquatic Center with men's fencing at 7:30 a.m. and men's swimming at 10:15 a.m.

Men's events will then continue at the Sarasota Polo Club, where gates again open at 11:30 a.m. The schedule is as follows:

• 12:30 p.m., men's fencing final

• 1:30 p.m., entertainment from The Circus Arts Conservatory

• 2 p.m., men's equestrian jumping

• 4:30 p.m., men's combined event: running and laser pistol shooting

• 4:50 p.m., men's final medal awards ceremony

June 8

The men's and women's mixed competition will begin at The Selby Aquatic Center with the mixed relay fencing at 7:30 a.m. and the mixed relay swimming at 10:15 a.m.

Sarasota Polo Club gates open at 11:30 a.m. for the following events:

• 12:30 p.m., mixed relay fencing final

• 2 p.m., mixed relay equestrian jumping

• 4:30 p.m., mixed relay combined event: running and laser pistol shooting

• 4:50 p.m., mixed relay final medal awards ceremony

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