It's not easy to find data about the records (I know it might be somewhere, but my search efforts were useless until now and UIPM database needs an update - you can find at results-NB Rankings - search in display). Of course the several changes in the sport through the years (length of swimming, running and riding course, the new formats - one-day and combined event- new equipments for shooting and fencing, swimsuit, etc) make it even more difficult, with several records for the competitions (we have what we can call historical records since no longer it's made in the same way). Fencing depends too much on the field (quality of opponents) and number of duels (24, 32, 36 draw size), riding is up to 1200 points flawless riding and is also affected by the course and the luck in the draw of the horses. Even running has a "world best" instead of "record" since the track is not the same in all competitions. OK, I promise I won't say the outdoor performances are affected by the weather and altitude, oh, I've just did it, haha.
I've compiled some info about best performances, but there is still a lot to do. I'd like to have the historic records of 300m swimming and 4000m running, and also for shooting and running 3km that now were replaced by the combined event. I'm working on 2009 season best performances (only World Cup finals and World Championships) that I hope be publishing within a week, with the top5 or top10 performances of the year for fencing, swimming, riding, combined event and total points. Hey, the combined event season best list will show the world record.
Some interesting stats/facts I've collected so far (before 2009 season), mostly about the Olympic records smashed in Beijing 2008:
Shooting: David Svoboda (CZE) is the Olympic record holder (191), followed by Zenhua Qian (CHN) - 189 - Michal Michalík (CZE) - 188 - and Viktor Horváth (HUN) -187 - all this scores in Beijing 2008. The former record holders were from Belarus, Pavel Dougal (Sydney 2000) and Dmitri Meliakh (Athina 2004) - 187, equalled by Horváth. The world record belongs to Denis Turov, from Kazakhstan (195 points, Open Winter Kazakhstan Champ., February 2007). Akos Kallai (HUN) has the second best score in shooting, 194 points, followed by For the women, the world ranking belongs to Hannah Arkhipenko (BLR) with 194 (1264 points) in Senior World Championships 2008 (Budapest, May), followed byAnastasia Samusevich (BLR) and Manuela Landi (ITA) with 191 points; in Olympics, Berlinda Schreiber (SUI) was the best shooter in Beijing (188), close to Olympic record set in Athina 2004 (Lean Dong, from China, with 189).
Fencing: Beijing 2008 saw Andrei Moiseev (RUS), the gold medalist, and Zenhua Qian (CHN) both scoring 1024 points (26/35). Previously it was a record shared by Moiseev, Cornel Vena (ROU) and Olivier Clergeau (FRA) of 1000 points for a 22/31 record. Lena Schöneborn (GER), another Beijing gold medalist, set a new OR too (1072 points for 28/35). Elena Rublevska (LAT) is another good fencer, with 27/35 (Beijing) and 23/31 (Athina). The world record for women is of Brazilian Yane Marques, 24w/2d in Panamerican Games 2007 (not a much competitive field though, despite the impressive record), the UIPM database for men fencing has something wrong since more than 30 first best records are of the same competition (World Cup 3 2006 Berlin).
Swimming: Amro El Geziry (EGY) and Sheila Taormina (USA) have the best time, holding both records (World and Olympic). Taormina is a former pro swimmer who also competed in triathlon before joining the modern pentathlon circuit. Nicolas Woodbridge (GBR) and Amélie Cazé (FRA) have great times too, coming close to the leaders.
Riding: well, it's up to 1200 points, not much to tell about. Since it's also a recap of last Olympic Games, the best riders were Michal Michalík (CZE) with 1172 points and Andrejus Zadneprovskis (LTU) with 1168 points in a hard and wet course that spoiled the chances of medal of some athletes like Svoboda. In the day after, some small changes for the women and Qian Chen (CHN), Laura Asadauskaite (LTU) and Sheila Taormina (USA) scored a perfect 1200 points.
Running: Dong-Hon Nam (KOR) set a new Olympic record of 8:55.97 in Beijing . The women's record is of Stephanie Cook (GBR) set in Sydney 2000, 1306 points that helped her to clinch the title. Anastasia Samusevich (BLR) had the best time in Beijing 2008, 10:04.46 - finished the competition in fourth place, missing a medal. World best time belongs to Pernille Svarre (DEN), with 9:36 (Malmö, 1999)