Lena Schoneborn: The German will be the defending champion in London, and it would certainly be no surprise were she to win gold again. The 26-year-old has no real weaknesses across the five sports and has taken the change from separate running and shooting to the introduction of the combined event finale in her long, elegant stride.
Andrei Moiseev: Winning one Olympic gold medal in such an unpredictable event is a huge achievement, but Russian Moiseev will head into London bidding for a third in succession. He took his time to adjust to the new format but showed his class last year by winning both the World and European Championships.
Boris Onishchenko: He had already won three Olympic medals for the Soviet Union and was tipped for more in 1976. But Britain's Jim Fox realised something was amiss during their fencing bout and an investigation revealed Onishchenko's sword had been tampered with to erroneously register a hit. He was disqualified and remains one of the most infamous Olympic athletes.
DID YOU KNOW?
Pentathletes do not ride familiar horses for their showjumping round but instead are paired with animals at a draw. They then have only 20 minutes to familiarise themselves with their horse before going out into the arena. The sport is intended to mimic the skills needed by a 19th-century cavalryman.
FIRST APPEARANCE AT THE GAMES
1912 (men), 2000 (women)