The UIPM hopes obstacle will feature at Los Angeles 2028 as part of modern pentathlon ©UIPM

Almost half of young people surveyed in the United States have said that they are more likely to watch the Olympics with obstacle as part of modern pentathlon as the sport seeks inclusion at Los Angeles 2028.

The International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) has released the results of the survey conducted by YouGov with just four months to go before a decision is set to be made on the sports programme for the Games in LA.

A total of 1,500 US citizens took part in the poll which found that 45 per cent of Generation Z - people born in 2000 and later - and 41 per cent of Millennials - born between 1982 and 1999 – were more likely to tune in to the Games on television or online if it featured a Ninja-style obstacle race.

As well as 505 Gen Z participants and 538 Millennials, a sample of 505 national representatives were also surveyed with 22 per cent saying that it was "more likely" that they would watch Games with the inclusion of obstacle compared to 19 per cent that answered "less likely", while 47 per cent were "neither more or less likely".

When asked 'How much would the addition of a Ninja-style obstacle race make you more or less likely to follow the Olympic Games via social media?', 10 per cent of Gen Z respondents said they would be much more likely to do so and 32 per cent said they would be more likely, while 16 per cent answered much more likely and 25 per cent more likely.

A new obstacle discipline is being integrated into modern pentathlon at junior and youth levels, with senior athletes set to fully adopt the change after Paris 2024.

A total of 1,500 US citizens including Gen Z and Millennials took part in the survey ©UIPM
A total of 1,500 US citizens including Gen Z and Millennials took part in the survey ©UIPM

According to the UIPM, 37 per cent which amounts more than two-thirds of survey respondents said they would be more likely to watch the new-look modern pentathlon at the Olympic Games.

It also found that 46 per cent of those cited enjoying Ninja-style obstacle races as the reason, with 34 per cent describing the reason for their answer: "I think the modern pentathlon needs to embrace change."

The YouGov survey was commissioned by UIPM as a "first formal step" in assessing the new sport against two of the criteria set by the International Olympic Committee.

They include "recognising global appeal to fans across the world, and host country interest" and "prioritising gender equality and youth relevance to engage new fans and athletes".

The UIPM is hoping to secure modern pentathlon’s place in the Olympics after being left off the initial programme for Los Angeles 2028.

The riding discipline has been axed from after Paris 2024 following the scandal at Tokyo 2020 which prompted widespread criticism and led to German coach Kim Raisner being sent home in disgrace for punching a horse that refused to jump.

Obstacle racing was approved as the sport's new fifth discipline at last year's virtual UIPM Congress.

In April, pressure group Pentathlon Union conducted a survey which found 70.3 per cent of athletes and coaches felt it was "unlikely or very unlikely" that modern pentathlon will be included at Los Angeles 2028.

There were 198 responses to the survey with 58 per cent of those athletes, while the rest were made up of coaches, officials and fans.