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UIPM 2024 Laser Run World Championships: Luo (CHN) leads from front to win first men’s title

Laser Run

A masterclass from local icon Shuai Luo of China was one of many highlights on day two of the UIPM 2024 Pentathlon and Laser Run World Championships.

As a top-25 pentathlete, former Asian champion and Tokyo 2020 Olympian, Luo (CHN) is a Laser Run specialist and he proved he could meet the expectations of a home crowd as he dominated the Senior Men’s Final in Zhengzhou (CHN), converting last year’s bronze medal to gold with a ruthless performance.

In 9min 57.91sec, Luo (CHN) won by 21sec from silver medallist Lorenzo Macias of Mexico, who held off the challenge of bronze medallist Zhenfeng Liu (CHN) with Tokyo 2020 Olympian Manuel Padilla (MEX) finishing 5th.

Another dominant performer for the home team was Quan Ding (CHN), who came from behind in the Junior Men’s Final to stretch away from Melvin Sacay of Philippines, with Giorgi Tskhadadze taking bronze for Georgia after a late burst. The host nation also celebrated success at U15 level thanks to Zhuoxi Sun (CHN).

The African challenge was more prominent in the youth categories, with Egypt claiming gold medals thanks to Aly Aboelfetouh (U17), Mark Habib (U13), Aly and Hamza Sobhy (U11) and Sohail Abo Auf (U9).

But it was South Africa who reigned at U19 level, thanks to Laser Run newcomer Jaun-Pierre Van der Berg holding off the challenge of Akim Gnedtchik (AIN), with Hanru Krause (RSA) picking up bronze.

The European challenge was more prominent in the Masters categories, where Julien Bartoli of France dominated a competitive 40+ category, while Denis Delusier of Monaco took home the 50+ gold and the 60+ title went to Tamas Gajdos of Hungary.

Champions’ reaction

Senior champion Luo (CHN) said: “I feel terrific to have my first World Championships gold medal. I feel supported by all the fans who came to support me, and it’s terrific to get my first gold medal at home.

“Competing at home also creates pressure, but it was more about the support from my family and fans. I successfully transferred all the pressure to my courage, to get this gold medal.

“The Modern Pentathlon competition is much more complicated than the Laser Run, because you have to be strong across all games. I’m good at Laser Run because I’m good at running and shooting. In the Modern Pentathlon, I’m a little bit weaker on the Fencing part and that’s what I’m going to practise later.”

Junior champion Ding (CHN) said: “It’s my first time in a World Championships and I’m really excited to be among this team with my parents and team-mates and coaches. We worked hard and we treated every day as a training opportunity ahead of the competition, and that’s why I could get the world title.

“The difficulty I faced in today’s race was when I did the shooting, because I felt quite nervous. I remembered my coaches taught me to feel calm, to make myself calm, to focus on every shot. That’s why I was able to perform well today.”

U19 winner Van der Berg (RSA) said: “I took the first lap fast and then the rest of the laps I paced with the other kid [Gnedtchik]. On the last shoot, I didn’t expect that. It was a very unexpected shoot, fast, and that helped me.

“It was difficult [to train for Laser Run] at the start, but with the help of my coach, he helped me a lot with the shooting and every week we trained for shooting once a day. All the hard work paid off.”

U17 gold medallist Aboelfetouh (EGY) said: “It’s great to be back on the podium and great to participate in another World Championships. I’m looking to the future and this year I have the U17 Pentathlon World Championships and I hope to do well. My big goal and big aim is Dakar 2026 – to participate in the Youth Olympics.

“If you do something that you really love, you have to be passionate about it and you have to make your own sacrifices. That’s life.

“I’m actually very happy but also sad because my Mom isn’t next to me at this World Championships – but she is watching me on TV with a big smile on her face. Thank you Mom for your sacrifices – love you.”

U15 winner Sun (CHN) said: “I’m very excited and happy. I’m tired but I really enjoy this sport.”

U13 champion Habib (EGY) said: “This is my entire season in Pentathlon, and I love this medal – I am so happy. My shooting was five out of five – all of them. And I ran so good – the first, second and third laps were all good.

“In the first two laps there were a lot of people behind me, but in the third lap I got in front of them all. I want to thank my parents for taking me to training, especially Swimming training in the mornings.”

How it works

More than 700 aspiring world champions from 52 nations are congregating at the Zhengzhou Olympic Sports Centre to compete in the UIPM 2024 Pentathlon and Laser Run World Championships from June 7-16.

Three days of Laser Run action bring athletes of all generations together as they compete for world titles in age grades from Under 9 to Masters 70+. 

With 550 athletes representing 24 countries, the global showcase of UIPM’s most popular development sport continues on June 8 with the Men’s Individual categories, with the Mixed Relays wrapping up the Laser Run racing on June 9.

Click here to read the UIPM President’s welcome to the UIPM 2024 Pentathlon and Laser Run World Championships.


Watch and follow

The UIPM 2024 Pentathlon and Laser Run World Championships are available to subscribers on UIPM.TV where annual packages cost €14.99.

Visit the UIPM website or download UIPM Central from your app store to keep track of live results. Follow World Pentathlon on FacebookInstagramTikTokX or YouTube for additional content.

The UIPM 2024 Laser Run World Championships run from June 7-9, based on the following schedule (UIPM TV live coverage times in Central European Summer Time).

  • Sunday, June 9 | Mixed Relays (3.00am)

The UIPM 2024 Pentathlon World Championships runs from June 9-16, based on the following schedule (UIPM TV live coverage times in Central European Summer Time).

  • Sunday, June 9 | Fencing Ranking Round: Women’s Relay & Men’s Relay
  • Monday, June 10 | Women’s Relay & Men’s Relay
  • Tuesday, June 11 | Women’s Qualification
  • Wednesday, June 12 | Men’s Qualification | Women’s Fencing Ranking Round
  • Thursday, June 13 | Women’s Semi-final A (8.45am); Semi-final B (11.30am) | Men’s Fencing Ranking Round
  • Friday, June 14 | Men’s Semi-final A (8.45am); Semi-final B (11.30am)
  • Saturday, June 15 | Women’s Final (4am) | Men’s Final (10.30am)
  • Sunday, June 16 | Mixed Relay (10.30am)

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