UIPM invites more than 250 athletes to become world’s first #LaserAllStars
- Leading laser shooters from 33 countries summoned to compete in virtual knockout
- Top-10 athletes Prades (FRA) and Muir (GBR) and Pan American champion Fernandez (GUA) on invite list
- Line-up also includes Olympic champion Starostin (RUS) and Youth Olympic champion Elgendy (EGY)
Sharp shooters from 33 countries have today been offered the chance to become the first UIPM #LaserAllStars.
Invitations have been issued to 256 athletes who took part in one of the recognised qualification competitions organised by 12 UIPM member federations across five continents, or who participated in the inaugural UIPM #LaserHomeRun in May 2020.
Through their performances the athletes earned invitations to the first virtual global competition dedicated to laser shooting – a cornerstone of the Modern Pentathlon competition format since it was introduced as a safe and sustainable alternative to air pistols in 2008.
The list of qualifiers across the three adult age categories includes one Olympic champion, two pentathletes ranked in the world’s top 10, a Pan American Games winner, a European senior medallist and two junior world champions as well as a European youth champion.
Anatoly Starostin of Russia, the Moscow 1980 Olympic champion who now heads up the Modern Pentathlon academy at the new Severny sports complex in the city, will take part in the Men’s Masters (40+) category.
World No.5 Valentin Prades of France is among the big-name athletes to be invited to take part in the Men’s Senior (Under-40) category, along with 2019 Pan American Games gold medallist Charles Fernandez of Guatemala.
Ahmed Elgendy of Egypt is another likely contender in the Men’s Senior event. The UIPM 2019 Pentathlon World Cup Cairo gold medallist won the rare treble of Youth Olympic Games and UIPM Junior and Youth (U19) titles in 2018.
The man who succeeded him as UIPM Junior world champion in 2019, Jean-Baptiste Mourcia of France, has been invited to take part in the U22 category, as has European U19 champion Rita Noemi Erdos of Hungary.
The current women’s world No.1, Joanna Muir of Great Britain, has been invited to line up in the Women’s Senior (U40) category alongside fellow UIPM Pentathlon World Cup winners Tamara Alekszejev of Hungary and Marie Oteiza (FRA).
Iryna Prasiantsova of Belarus, a gold medallist in the Women’s Relay and Team event at the UIPM 2018 and 2019 Pentathlon World Championships whose individual bronze medal at the 2019 European Championships in Bath (GBR) enabled her to win a quota place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, is another well-known athlete in the Senior category.
Of the 33 countries represented on the invite list, Great Britain (41) has the most participants, closely followed by Hungary (27), Egypt (22), Turkey (20), Russia and France (16) and Ecuador (14). A full list of the recognised qualification competitions is provided below.
The world’s first #LaserAllStars champions will be crowned when UIPM stages semi-finals and finals for the top 32 athletes on September 9 – coinciding with the 3rd Pierre de Coubertin Pentathlon Day.
Before that, the 256 qualifiers will meet in preliminary rounds on August 7 & 8 – exactly one year before the culmination of the Modern Pentathlon competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (now taking place in 2021).
More information about #LaserAllStars, launched on July 20 with the aim of bringing the global UIPM Sports community together online, can be found at https://www.uipmworld.org/laserallstars-information-page.
List of 2020 #LaserAllStars qualification competitions:
Afghanistan (national competition)
Ecuador – South American Laser Shooting (continental)
Egypt – Home Laser Shooting Challenge (national)
Great Britain – Connect 5 Virtual Challenge (international)
Guatemala – Laser Run Virtual (national)
Mexico – Flying Shooting (continental)
Philippines – Online Laser Run (national)
Russia – All Russia Laser Fit Home Tournament (national)
UIPM – Laser Home Run (worldwide)