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UIPM 2024 Pentathlon and Laser Run World Championships: All you need to know

Modern Pentathlon
  • Olympic and world champions mean business in Zhengzhou (CHN)
  • Paris 2024 internal battles rife in Egypt and multiple European nations
  • Three days of Laser Run kick off UIPM’s flagship competition

More than 700 aspiring world champions from 52 nations across six continents will congregate at the Zhengzhou Olympic Sports Centre to compete in the UIPM 2024 Pentathlon and Laser Run World Championships over the next 10 days.

UIPM’s flagship competition is being held in Asia for the first time since 2013 when it was hosted by Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei. As a result, Asian representation is at an all-time high with participants from 14 nations across the continent – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong China, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Philippines, Singapore and Uzbekistan.

Athletes aged nine and under will compete in the youngest Laser Run category, while Tokyo 2020 Olympic champions Kate French and Joseph Choong of Great Britain lead the charge of elite athletes in Modern Pentathlon. They will be aiming to prove their form in the run-up to Paris 2024, with stern challenges expected from nations such as Egypt and Hungary that have been dominant this season. 

The Women’s Individual categories at the Laser Run World Championships kickstarted the action today (June 7), with the Modern Pentathlon Mixed Relay closing proceedings on Sunday, June 16.

Many eyes will be on Super Saturday (June 15), when the new elite Modern Pentathlon world champions and medallists will be crowned and up to six athletes (three women and three men) will secure direct qualification quota places at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

With athletes from 42 countries registering for UIPM’s flagship competition, and 24 nations registering athletes to compete in Laser Run, a truly global celebration of UIPM Sports awaits in Zhengzhou’s spectacular venue.


Paris 2024 countdown

To date, 22 female and 22 male pentathletes have secured direct qualification quota places at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, with 14 places remaining per gender.

Any eligible athletes who have not already secured a quota place finish can secure one in Zhengzhou (CHN) if they finish in the top three of the Women’s or Men’s Individual Final. If any athletes who are pre-qualified or ineligible win medals, their quota place will go back into the mix for athletes trying to qualify via the UIPM Olympic Pentathlon World Ranking (OPWR).

The UIPM 2024 Pentathlon World Championships is the last OPWR event in this Olympic cycle, and the OPWR will be finalised on 17 June. Click here for more information about the Paris 2024 qualification process.

Pentathlon focus: women

Hungary was the only nation to win two Women’s Individual Finals in the UIPM 2024 Pentathlon World Cup, meaning Michelle Gulyas and Blanka Guzi go into this competition with a promising chance of becoming world champion for the first time.

But there are a host of other contenders who enjoyed podium time this season, such as world No.4 Seungmin Seong (KOR) and the veteran who struck gold for the first time at the UIPM 2024 Pentathlon World Cup Final, Gintare Venckauskaite of Lithuania.

Internal and external competition will be rife among the Great Britain team, with Tokyo 2020 Olympic champion Kate French (GBR) apparently competing for a place at Paris 2024 against World Cup Final silver medallist Jessica Varley (GBR) and the athlete who won the team’s first quota place, Olivia Green (GBR).

Many eyes will again focus on the challenge from France, with Marie Oteiza and Elodie Clouvel having been consistently close to the podium for most of the season ahead of their home Games. Ilke Ozyuksel of Türkiye is another top-10 athlete with a chance of winning that coveted world title, with Egypt likely to be in the mix via Malak Ismail and Salma Abdelmaksoud.


Pentathlon focus: men

Egypt was undoubtedly the standout nation of the 2024 Pentathlon World Cup season on the men’s side, with a remarkable haul of nine medals shared between four athletes.

In Zhengzhou (CHN), their team of five has been told that performances on Super Saturday could determine who goes to Paris, so the pressure is on for Tokyo 2020 silver medallist and world No.2 Ahmed Elgendy (EGY) and his brother Mohamed Elgendy (EGY), 2023 world bronze medallist Mohanad Shaban (EGY), junior star Moutaz Mohamed (EGY) and Tokyo 2020 Olympian Ahmed Hamed.

The team that did most to disrupt the Egyptian hegemony was Hungary, with Csaba Bohm (HUN) setting a new overall world record on his way to Pentathlon World Cup Final glory. His Olympic place may now be secure but there will be fierce competition between team-mates Balazs Szep (HUN), Bence Demeter (HUN)and Richard Bereczki (HUN) that is likely to inspire high performance.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic champion Joseph Choong (GBR) is very much the wild card of this competition having not competed fully since winning his second consecutive world title on home soil in Bath (GBR) last August. Will it be time for him to shine, or will it be the turn of another Tokyo 2020 medallist, Woongtae Jun (KOR), who is backed up by in-form team-mate Changwan Seo (KOR). Shuai Luo of China leads what is expected to be a strong challenge from the host nation in hot and humid conditions.

Elsewhere around Europe, there is intrigue in the France camp with World Cup Final silver medallist Valentin Prades (FRA) likely now to have secured his place in the home Games – leaving two-time world champion Valentin Belaud in a scrap with Jean-Baptiste Mourcia (FRA) and Pierre Dejardin (FRA). There are also fascinating internal battles to be resolved in the teams from Czechia, Germany and Poland among others.

Laser Run focus

Three days of Laser Run action will 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, there will be a global showcase of UIPM’s most popular development sport in the eighth instalment of this World Championships.

China will compete with multiple entries in all age categories, going up against traditional strongholds such as Egypt, Great Britain and South Africa.

Often the senior Laser Run category features some of the world’s leading pentathletes, and 2024 is no different with Mexico duo Mariana Arceo and Manuel Padilla taking the opportunity to sharpen their run/shoot form.

World No.24 Luo (CHN) is also among the star names on the list having won bronze in the equivalent event last year in Bath (GBR).

President’s welcome

UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said:UIPM has a broad family of sports and this annual showpiece competition combines the heritage of our flagship Olympic sport, Modern Pentathlon, with the popular and flexible development sport of Laser Run.

“While it takes many years to become an accomplished pentathlete, Laser Run is very accessible and enables athletes of all ages to take their first steps on a Modern Pentathlon journey – and we look forward to meeting many such athletes in the coming days.

“I am very pleased that our movement has come back to China for the first international competition in many years. Everything was set for a return in 2020, but the pandemic forced us to wait and I thank our many friends and colleagues in China for their patience.

“I know our athletes will be at their very best as they continue to build confidence for Paris 2024, and in some cases they are still chasing a qualification place. I am also certain that Zhengzhou will put on a wonderful show for this prestigious event.

“As always, I ask athletes to remember their responsibility to compete in a spirit of fair play, as our founder Pierre de Coubertin envisaged, and respect the Olympic values as we together enjoy the glory of our wonderful sport of Modern Pentathlon. Faster, Stronger, Higher … Together.

Click here to read the UIPM President’s welcome in full.


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).

  • Friday, June 7 | Women’s Individual (4.30am)
  • Saturday, June 8 | Men’s Individual (3.00am)
  • 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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