ISSF Run & Shoot test event draws field of 400 athletes from across the globe
Saturday, 23 June 2012
June 23 - A total of 400 athletes from 33 countries, including former Olympic champions, have gathered in Suhl, Germany to take part in the test event of a new "Run & Shoot" format that has been introduced by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF).
The pilot run was undertaken by youngsters taking part in an international junior competition in Suhl.
The new event, which combines running with air rifle shooting, is part of the ISSF's Sport for All competition format designed for ease of access.
The ISSF Run & Shoot event does not require any special equipment or major investments – air rifles are provided by the organisers, so a pair of running shoes is the only requirement.
"The ISSF presents this new sport format in the spirit of the Sport for All programme, but also to attract new, young shooters," the ISSF secretary general, Franz Schreiber said.
"We are aiming to develop Run & Shoot as a grassroots event, and as a first easy step into our sport.
"We want to give the youth a chance to practice shooting, to play an outdoor sport, and to have fun in a healthy environment."
The Run & Shoot competition is similar to the format which now concludes modern pentathlon competitions, but in this case it begins with a mass start.
After 600 metres - 400m for the younger shooters - athletes stop at the shooting station, where they shoot at five falling targets placed at a 10m distance.
Athletes compete with an air rifle, without optical sights, in standing or prone position (depending on the age category).
An unlimited number of shots are permitted to hit the five falling targets, but the athlete will be allowed to start running again only when all the targets have been hit.
Both fitness and precision matters for the medals.
At the finals, athletes run the given distance five times, shooting four rounds in between.
The first to cross the finish line, wins the match.
Niklas Heyser of Germany, a 1989 class shooter competing for the SV Heiligenrode team, won the ISSF Run & Shoot man final with a time of 12min 24.08sec on the longer distance of five runs of 600m.
His compatriot Ira Kuhne won the women's match with a time of 16min 11.60sec, and the junior men's event was won by Per Heyser of Germany in 12:53.20.
The youth category, which includes athletes born between 1995 and 1997, staged on the distance of five runs of 400m saw victories for Pascal Schwarz and Jana Landwehr with times of 10:48.50 and 12:27.10 respectively.