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| Event type

Individual, Men

Date31 July – 4 August 1928
StatusOlympic
LocationZwemstadion, Amsterdam / Sportpark, Hilversum / Schermzaal, Amsterdam / Schietterrein, Zeeburg, Amsterdam / Rijschool, Willem III-kazerne, Amersfoort
Participants37 from 14 countries
FormatPoint-for-place scoring.

The defending champion, Bo Lindman, was back. As only Swedes had won the medals in this event in 1912-1924, he and his teammates, Sven Thofelt and Ingvar Berg, were expected to lead the event. Thofelt took the lead after the second phase, swimming, finishing second in that sport. Lindman was hampered by a poor start in shooting, finishing only 15th, and although he moved up with a fifth-place in swimming, he stood only seventh after two phases. Thofelt maintained the lead after fencing, finishing fourth with the épée. German Helmuth Kahl placed second in fencing and moved into second place overall. Lindman again struggled, finishing 22nd with the sword, and now in ninth place, his chances for gold, or even a medal, seemed remote. But he moved up into a tie for fourth place after the cross-country run, as Thofelt and Kahl continued to lead, despite mediocre running performances. After four phases, the places were Thofelt 1st with 33, Kahl 2nd with 40, Willem van Rhijn (NED) 3rd with 43, and Lindman tied with Italy’s Eugenio Pagnani in fourth with 45 points. But Lindman almost caught the leaders. He rode well, finishing third in the steeplechase, and moved up to the silver medal. Thofelt finished only 21st on the horse, but hung on for the gold. Kahl won bronze, the first medal ever won in modern pentathlon by a non-Swede. Thofelt would return to the Olympics in modern pentathlon in 1932 and 1936, but did not medal. However, he won Olympic medals in fencing in both 1936 and 1948. He would later become President of the Unione International de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM) after its formation in 1949, would serve in that post for 23 years, and also became an IOC Member from 1970-76. The shooting section of the 1928 modern pentathlon was won by Heinz Hax, who would win two silver medals in shooting in 1932-36 and was the son of George Hax, who competed in the Olympics in water polo in 1900 and gymnastics in 1906.

PosCompetitor(s)NOCOrdinals
1Sven ThofeltSWE47Gold
2Bo LindmanSWE50Silver
3Helmut KahlGER52Bronze
4Ingvar BergSWE58
5Heinz HaxGER59
6David Turquand-YoungGBR65
=7Christiaan TonnetNED69
=7Hermann HölterGER69
9Willem van RhijnNED71
10Helge JensenDEN73
11Eugenio PagniniITA74
12Zenon MałłyskoPOL77
13Lauri KettunenFIN81
14Otto OlsenDEN82
=15Aubrey NewmanUSA83
=15Henrik AvellanFIN83
=15Luigi PetrilloITA83
18Carlo SimonettiITA84
19Richard MayoUSA86
20Peter HainsUSA87
21Tauno LampolaFIN89
22Alfred GoodwinGBR991
23Tivadar FilótásHUN107
=24Tjeerd PasmaNED108
=24Lance EastGBR108
26Stefan SzelestowskiPOL110
27Édouard Écuyer de le CourtBEL111
28Charles Jacques Le VavasseurFRA113
29Pierre CocheFRA119
30Rudolf RůžičkaTCH127
31Sebastião de HerédiaPOR133
32Charles VanneromBEL135
33André CrémonFRA141
34Franciszek KoprowskiPOL142
=35Josef SchejbalTCH144
=35Charles CumontBEL144
37Kamil GampeTCH150