SA laser-runners aim to shine at world championships in Cape Town

Four Joburgers will have a chance to shoot their names up in lights, after making South Africa’s laser-run team for the world’s biggest laser-run event.

Fairland resident Marco Prins (12) who attends Laerskool Jan Celliers in Parkview, Bryanston’s Joshua Eccles (9) and Matthew Hunt (9) from St Stithians Boys College and Bryanston Primary School respectively and Fourways resident Nadya Stolarczyk (13) from Fourways High School are included in the South African Modern Pentathlon Association’s (Sampa) elite team of six.

The Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM) Laser-run World Championships takes place in Cape Town in October and SA will also send a development and president’s team to compete.

Laser-run combines the running and shooting disciplines of the pentathlon. Competitors run up to four, 400m or 800m laps with laser pistols and stop to shoot small targets five times within 50 seconds between each lap.

“While it’s still a relatively new sport in SA, particularly in Gauteng, we have seen tremendous growth in participants over the past year,” said Gauteng Modern Pentathlon secretary, Graham Burnett, who hopes to see as many Gauteng athletes on the podium as possible.

For Stolarczyk, to represent her country is a big honour. “I want to bring a medal home and hopefully make new friends,” she said.

Also aiming for a medal and new friends is Hunt. “I like the atmosphere at laser-run events because everyone is cheering and there’s lots of action and excitement,” he said, adding that laser-run pushes him to his limits.

Read: The Prins of athletes

For Prins, the best part of laser-run is being the first athlete out the blocks, but the worst part is when your aim lets you down.

“Then you know you have to run faster than ever to catch up,” he added. Eccles said running and shooting are his two favourite things. “The best part is challenging myself to achieve my goals,” he concluded.


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Nicholas Zaal

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