Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Georgia International Horse Park, Conyers, Georgia; Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, Atlanta, Georgia; Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia
Date Started: July 30, 1996
Date Finished: July 30, 1996
Format: Scoring by point tables.
With no team competition and all events held in one day, this was a completely new format for modern pentathlon at the Olympics. The 1994-95 World Champion was Russian Dmitry Svatkovsky, a 24-year-old with a law degree who was a part-time performer in a Russian circus, and who was the favorite in Atlanta. But the leader after the third and fourth phases was a surprise, Italian Cesare Toraldo. He led Kazakh Alex Parygin by 46 points going into the cross-country run, with Svatkovsky struggling back in ninth place. In third place was the 1988 gold medalist, János Martinek, who had been a big surprise back in 1988 and had done little internationally since then. Eduard Zenovka, who had lost the 1992 gold medal with a disastrous ride in the last phase, was in sixth place but was known to be a very strong runner. In fact, he pulled ahead and took the lead with several hundred metres remaining. He would win the run, but the effort of pulling ahead had drained him and he stumbled in the stretch and fell, allowing Parygin, who was virtually unknown in the sport, to pass him for the gold medal. Zenovka recovered to get the silver, with Martinek winning bronze. In 1993, Zenovka had had much worse luck. Driving a truck with his fiancé, he crashed the truck while under the influence. She was killed and he spent a short time in a coma.
|11||Kim Mi-Seop||23||South Korea||KOR||5,367|
|15||Claud Cloete||26||South Africa||RSA||5,308|
|16||Michael Gostigian||33||United States||USA||5,305|
|18||Richard Phelps||35||Great Britain||GBR||5,254|
|23||Horacio de la Vega||21||Mexico||MEX||5,182|