UIPM 2019 Pentathlon and Laser Run World Championships: All you need to know
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY: September 1, 2019 – A 107-year-old core Olympic sport and one of the world’s most popular new urban sports will be brought together for the first time over the next seven days.
The UIPM 2019 Pentathlon and Laser Run World Championships is the biggest competition ever organised by the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM), with an estimated 1000 participants from more than 60 nations.
Nearly 200 of the world’s leading pentathletes will be joined by more than 600 Laser Run specialists and hundreds of supporting team members from countries in every continent.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN BUDAPEST
For many decades Hungary been one the hot spots of the UIPM movement and Budapest hosts the Pentathlon World Championships for the seventh time since its debut in 1954.
For the first time, the local organisers have been challenged to create a Pentathlon Arena where all five disciplines take place in the same venue, mirroring the format that will be used at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and which was introduced 12 months ago at the UIPM 2018 Pentathlon World Championships in Mexico City (MEX).
All disciplines across the six days of competition will take place at Kincsem Park, the home of horse racing in Budapest which has been specially converted into a Pentathlon Arena with a temporary swimming pool.
The city is also about to rock to the dynamic tune of Laser Run, not just once but twice. This combined UIPM World Championships will be closely followed by the 1st World Urban Games (September 13-15), in which Laser Run is a showcase sport.
ROAD TO TOKYO
Six more athletes will earn the right to become Olympic pentathletes in Tokyo (JPN) next year by finishing in a prominent position this weekend.
On Friday, three women will join the 15 who have already qualified, and on Saturday three men will similarly take the tally of male qualifiers to 18, according to the criteria set out in the UIPM qualification process.
Lithuania’s women and Great Britain’s men have already secured the maximum two places, but for every other nation the prize of Olympic qualification is still very much up for grabs, with strong rivalries emerging nationally as well as internationally.
ONES TO WATCH (WOMEN)
An astonishing array of talent sees 29 of the 30 top-ranked women pentathletes gather in Budapest, with one big question: can Laura complete the golden hat-trick?
Laura Asadauskaite of Lithuania was crowned European champion in Bath (GBR) in August, and the 35-year-old Pentathlon legend had already qualified for the Olympics by winning the UIPM 2019 Pentathlon World Cup Final in Tokyo (JPN) in June.
She will face fierce competition for the world title, not least from the reigning champion, Anastasiya Prokopenko of Belarus, who has not yet qualified for the Olympics, world No.2 Annika Schleu of Germany and No.3 Marie Oteiza of France.
Host nation Hungary is sure to have a say, with perennial contenders Sarolta Kovacs and Tamara Alekszejev backed up by Zsofia Foldhazi and emerging talents such as Michelle Gulyas and Blanka Guzi.
Italy has a strong team and is hoping for its first Olympic qualifier with the likes of Alice Sotero and Elena Micheli expected to push hard.
The pull of Tokyo is particularly strong in Asia and six Asian nations will be represented in Budapest (HUN), with leading lights such as Natsumi Tomonaga of Japan, Kim Sunwoo of Korea and junior starlet Zhang Mingyu of China. Pan American champion Mariana Arceo of Mexico spearheads the challenge from the Americas.
After a stunning performance by 20-year-old Adelina Ibatullina at the European Championships, Russia faces a scramble for its last women’s Olympic spot between the more senior Gulnaz Gubaydullina, Uliana Batashova and Anna Buriak.
ONES TO WATCH (MEN)
With more than 100 competitors, it will be a worthy achievement simply to reach the men’s final.
The big occasion usually brings out the best in Olympic champion Alexander Lesun (RUS), who will be determined to claim his third individual world title after successes in Rome (2012) and Warsaw (2014). Rio 2016 silver medallist Pavlo Tymoshchenko of Ukraine will be another contender.
A private battle for greatness continues between James Cooke of Great Britain, reigning world and European champion, and world No.1 Valentin Prades (FRA), who was forced to accept silver in the most dramatic finish the sport has ever seen 12 months ago in Mexico City (MEX).
Another compelling rivalry has developed between Joseph Choong (GBR), winner of the UIPM Pentathlon World Cup Final, and Marvin Dogue of Germany, who was twice beaten by Choong (GBR) on the finishing straight this year.
Many eyes will be on the Korea team led by Jung Jinhwa (2017 world champion) and Jun Woongtae, both of whom will be looking to secure their Olympic places, as will top-10-ranked Jan Kuf of Czech Republic and Ahmed Elgendy of Egypt.
Home fans expecting to continue the tradition of Hungarian medal success will be pinning their hopes on the likes of Bence Demeter, Robert Kasza and the veteran Adam Marosi.
LASER RUN SCOUTING REPORT
From Nepal to New Zealand, from Mongolia to Monaco, from India to Israel and from Singapore to Slovakia, it’s going to be a truly global gathering for the 5th UIPM Laser Run World Championships
More than 600 athletes are scheduled to compete across the 11 age groups (Under 9 to Masters 60+), with Great Britain, South Africa, Hungary and France aiming to repeat their multiple medal success from previous years.
The reigning individual champions, Jessica Varley (GBR) and Bence Kardos (HUN), are both scheduled to take part in the individual Pentathlon competition.
With the Laser Run finals taking place on the last three days, coinciding with the Pentathlon Finals and Mixed Relay, some athletes who do not reach the individual finals might become available, adding even more intensity to the senior competition.
Budapest will be the fifth host of the Laser Run World Championships after Perpignan (FRA), Lisbon (POR), Cape Town (RSA) and Dublin (IRL)
UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said: “It is my great privilege to welcome athletes, coaches, officials, media, spectators and VIPs to the beautiful capital city of Budapest for one of the most important competitions in the long history of our sporting movement.
“In a year when we are celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Olympic movement, we bring our flagship Olympic sport and our most popular development sport together for the first time.
“Budapest has a proud history and a long association with the Pentathlon World Championships, having hosted the competition six times (1954, 1969, 1979, 1989, 1999 and 2008) including the last year of each decade since the 1960s, with only one exception to the sequence (2008).
“Laser Run has become a global sporting phenomenon that gives people from all communities in the world an entry point to our UIPM Sports pyramid, which has Pentathlon at the top.
“We continue to develop and grow our beloved Olympic sport through projects like the Pentathlon Arena and the Mixed Relay, both of which will be part of the experience here in Budapest. We are targeting the Mixed Relay for inclusion in the Olympic Summer Games Paris 2024 and it will provide a wonderful climax on Sunday as we celebrate the 2nd UIPM Pierre de Coubertin Pentathlon Day.”
WATCH AND FOLLOW
The Pentathlon World Championships will be televised live or ‘as live’ in 144 countries, with a total of 133 hours of coverage secured by TV networks. This amounts to a total potential reach of 431 million homes.
On each day of the competition you can watch a live stream of the Fencing Bonus Round, Riding, Laser Run and the medal ceremony on UIPM TV and YouTube, with no geographical restrictions. The Laser Run and medal ceremony can also be watched live on Facebook.
Follow World Pentathlon on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram throughout the Pentathlon season for additional content, and visit the UIPM website or download the “UIPM Central” app to keep track of results.
The UIPM 2019 Pentathlon World Championships begin on Monday, September 2 with the Women’s Relay and conclude on Sunday, September 8 with the Mixed Relay.
Spectators attending on the three finals days (September 6-8) will have the bonus of seeing the UIPM Laser Run World Championships during the early part of the day.
Tickets can be bought over on the official event's website.
UIPM 2019 Pentathlon World Championships schedule
(* live stream on UIPM TV)
- September 2: Women’s Relay
- September 3: Men’s Relay
- September 4: Women’s Qualification
- September 5: Men’s Qualification | Women’s Final Fencing Ranking Round
- September 6: Women’s Final* | Men’s Final Fencing Ranking Round
- September 7: Men’s Final*
- September 8: Mixed Relay*
UIPM 2019 Laser Run World Championships schedule
- September 6: Women’s Final
- September 7: Men’s Final