UIPM 2017 Laser-Run World Championships: Cape Town welcomes the world
The Laser-Run craze that is sweeping the world is about to hit one of the capital cities of world sport and tourism.
Cape Town becomes the third host of the UIPM Laser-Run World Championships after Perpignan (FRA) in 2015 and Lisbon (POR) in 2016, and hundreds of athletes of all ages from about 20 countries have gathered in this beautiful harbour city where racing will take place in Cape Town Stadium, in the shadow of the iconic Table Mountain
The two-day competition begins on Saturday, October 14 with the Individual races across 10 categories from Under-11 to Masters 60+. On Sunday, October 15 the championships conclude with the Mixed Relay, as well as the open division race where participants of different ages have the opportunity to compete together.
The South African pentathlete Pieter Oosthuizen, 23, will be among the athletes aiming to make the podium at senior level - especially after his superb performances at the UIPM Biathle-Triathle World Championships last month in Viveiro (ESP).
"This is my home town, I live here so I am very excited to have a lot of friends and family to come and support me - and the other athletes as well," he said.
"This is my 3rd Laser-Run World Championships and I've been a medallist for the past two, so I'm looking forward to keeping the podium streak going.
South Africa's Carlah Keyset added: "I feel really excited to compete. It's very strange to have the competition in South Africa - less travelling. I'm very excited for the event and for the chance to meet all my friends again."
Laser-Run, which combines laser shooting with running and can be staged in any urban or parkland venue, is the fastest-growing of the UIPM Sports and its global reach has become a constant feature on the calendar in 2017 with the successful launch of the UIPM Laser-Run City Tour.
UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said: "The South African Modern Pentathlon Association (SAMPA) is a historical member of our union and when they organise a competition it is always successful.
"I am looking forward to the 3rd Laser-Run World Championships, after Perpignan in 2015 and Lisbon in 2016, and I know that here in Cape Town we will see a great performance from the athletes. I know the facilities will be excellent and we will go home with great memories of a wonderful city and a great competition.
"I am sure all the athletes will also compete in a spirit of fairness and friendship, which is so important for integration."
Pieter Oosthuizen, President of SAMPA, added: "We are very happy to host this competition and we think this will widen our footprint for our sport in South Africa, and that will make a major contribution to our focus on gaining more athletes for Modern Pentathlon.
"We want to build our core sport and we see Laser-Run as a great development code which gives us the opportunity to increase participation."