Men's Modern Pentathlon: David Svoboda of Czech Republic Takes Gold On Last Lap

Aug 11, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Dennis Bowsher (USA) on Vito (29) during the modern pentathlon mens riding show jumping during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Park. Mandatory Credit: Ford McClave-USA TODAY Sports

A comeback victory by David Svoboda in the combined run-shoot discipline of the modern pentathlon might be the last we see of men's modern pentathlon in the Olympics.

David Svoboda won what could be the final men's modern pentathlon event at the Olympics on the 100th anniversary of its inception, outpacing China's Cao Zhongrong on the final lap of the running portion of the event to take gold.

Svoboda and Cao entered the combined run/shoot portion of the event second and first, getting a nice head start on their competitors after their performances in the first three events. The combined stage was a novelty at these Olympics: not only is this the first time the event has put the running and shooting events of the five-discipline biathlon-style event in an attempt to make the competition more fan-friendly, it was also the first time the competitors used laser pistols - LASER GUNS - rather than real air pistols. Cao paced the race, but wasn't fast enough to hold off Svoboda after the final shooting round, as Svoboda took the lead and won comfortably in the last 1km cross-country run. The performance was still a success for Cao, who became the first Asian to medal in the event.

However, this might be the last time we see modern pentathlon: the event meant to model the skills of a 19th century cavalry officer has only been guaranteed through the London games, perhaps because there are no more cavalry officers who need to swim, jump horses, run, shoot, and fence. The women will go tomorrow, and later we'll hear whether the event will be contested in Rio in 2016.

Here's how the medal podium looked:

Gold: David Svoboda, Czech Republic

Silver: Cao Zhongrong, China

Bronze: Adam Morosi, Hungary

For complete coverage of the 2012 London Olympics, visit SB Nation's Summer Olympics hub.

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