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UIPM 2019 Global Laser Run City Tour: Igor Novikov legacy alive and well in Yerevan (ARM)

Laser Run

The pentathlon school created by the late, great Ivor Novikov may be no more but the legacy of the ‘Armenian tiger’ has been reprised with the help of the Global Laser Run City Tour.

Novikov, winner of six world titles and Olympic team gold with the Soviet Union in 1956 and 1964, set up the Training School of Young Pentathletes in Yerevan (ARM) after his retirement. He went on to serve as President of UIPMB from 1988 to 1992, while the coaching academy in the country where he had grown up flourished.

To the dismay of Novikov, who died in 2007, the school gradually disintegrated in the 1990s, and Armenian pentathlon has struggled ever since. But today there are signs of life anew.

On 5 May, 300 boys and girls took part in UIPM’s fastest-growing development competition – the GLRCT. The Minister of Sport for Armenia attended along with dignitaries from Yerevan’s city government.

Poignantly, many graduates of Novikov’s revered pentathlon school were also involved as judges nd coaches, including Misak Gabrielyan – regarded as the ‘Godfather’ of Armenian pentathlon coaches.

A spokesperson for the local organising committee said: “We are proud to have hosted the first UIPM Global Laser Run City Tour in Yerevan, which was highly appreciated by everyone who was invited, including many representatives of different sports in Armenia.

It was an important and special event for athletes as well as for coaches and judges who were graduates of the pentathlon school in Yerevan, who shared many memories of the years they spent there.”

The GLRCT was created to provide an entry point to UIPM Sports for people of all ages in urban communities around the world.

Another 100 cities have been selected in 2019 as hosts of the GLRCT or the Biathle/Triathle National Tour. The full calendar can be viewed at the UIPM website, where you can also find more information on UIPM’s various multi-discipline sports.

In September, the UIPM Laser Run World Championships will be incorporated into the Pentathlon World Championships for the first time in Budapest (HUN), where Laser Run is also on the programme for the 1st World Urban Games.

In December, Laser Run and Triathle will both feature for the first time in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in the Philippines.

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