The modern pentathlon consists of five disciplines (from Greek word pente) that will be contested on a single day in the following order:
1. Shooting: Air pistol (20 shots)
2. Fencing: Epee (35 bouts)
3. Swimming: 200m freestyle
4. Equestrian: Show jumping (15 jumps)
5. Running: 3000m (1.82 miles) cross-country
A total of 36 men and 36 women will compete in the modern pentathlon in Beijing (up from 32 men and 32 women in Athens), with no more than two from the same country in each event. If a country qualifies more than two men or two women, the national governing body chooses which athletes will represent it at the Olympics.