Other countries in the developed world tend to look at Hungary for its art and architecture. However, many might not realize that Hungary also has a rich sports industry. In fact, Hungary is hosting dozens of sports competitions later this year.
Some of these events, such as the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest, will dominate global television channels and sports betting websites, as stations like Sky Sports have dedicated a channel to F1, and motorsport betting has skyrocketed in popularity. Other events, however, will be more low-key, including the 2022 Modern Pentathlon World Cup, which will also take place in Budapest.
That said, even if sportsbooks don’t offer odds on the Modern Pentathlon World Cup (they will for the Hungarian Grand Prix and the 2022 Giro d’Italia in Budapest), this hybrid sporting event still interestingly reflects a transition we can see in the iGaming industry. That transition is a new focus on hybrid games, such as casino operators offering Slingo games online. Like the pentathlon, which is comprised of five different sporting events, Slingo is a game that comprises elements of two different games, slots and bingo. These games spruce up the excitement of video slots and bingo, much like the pentathlon does, showing a new and exciting side to fencing, swimming, cross-country running, equestrian show jumping, and pistol shooting.
The Modern Pentathlon World Cup is an annual modern pentathlon competition held in several countries. It is the sport’s top-level annual series, and Budapest will host the second stage of this year’s competition before the final takes place in Ankara, Turkey. This event will be the first of many taking place in 2022 in Budapest, and Hungary has an accomplished reputation in this competition, hosting at least one stage between the years 2000 and 2022.
Several Hungarians have also won the Pentathlon World Cup Final, beginning in 1999 when Ákos Hanzély, Péter Sárfalvi, and Gábor Balogh won the men’s team-relay event. Of course, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering Balogh is one of Hungary’s finest athletes, winning a silver medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
The same year Hungary won the men’s team-relay event at the Modern Pentathlon World Cup, Balogh was elected as Hungarian Sportsman of the Year. Other Hungarians who have won the competition include Róbert Kasza and Ádám Marosi, who alternated wins between 2008 and 2011. Hungary’s last win at the Modern Pentathlon World Cup Final came in 2017 by Tamara Alekszejev in the women’s event. This year’s competition will run between April 26th and May 1st, with the first stage in Cairo.
The pentathlon might not be the world’s most popular sport, not compared to Formula 1, cycling, or European football, but the fact that major competitions like the Modern Pentathlon World Cup are still going speaks volumes. Even if major international television stations don’t broadcast the competition or sports betting websites don’t offer odds on the event, the pentathlon has more in common with the modern world than many realize.
We live in a world full of information and entertainment, which is why we’re seeing things like hybrid games and social media platforms, which is essentially what the pentathlon is. One day, centuries ago, Pierre de Coubertin combined a bunch of different sports to make an even better one — and it worked.