Kayla’s leap of faith rewarded

Kayla’s leap of faith rewarded

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Kayla Bongers and Amos Vagg were awarded silver medals in the mixed junior relays in Bali.

After four months overseas competing in international tournaments, local pentathlon star Kayla Bongers has touched back down in Perth, just in time for an unseasonal heatwave.

“Going from a very cold Autumn in Europe, back to Spring/Summer in Australia has been interesting,” she said.

But she’s happy to back, and is ready to get to work, earning money to fund her next international sporting adventure.

In August Kayla became the first Australian athlete to compete in the new modern pentathlon with its addition of an Obstacle Course Race instead of the equestrian discipline.

Since that milestone at the UIPM World Championships in Istanbul, she’s chalked up medals and experience at the Laser Run World Championships in Bath, England, the OCR World Championships in Genk, Belgium, and the Biathle/Triathle World Championships in Bali.

Luck favoured her in Bath, when a last-minute scratching gave Kayla a coveted place in the finals of the Under 19 girls division.

The laser run is an action-packed sport that combines cross country running with laser pistol shooting.

Kayla completed her finals dash in under 16 minutes, finishing in 19th place, and smashing her performance in Turkey.

“I took two-and-a-half minutes off my time at the Laser Run World Championships, which was a good reflection of the training and coaching I’d been receiving,” she said.

 

Kayla Bongers competing at the OCR World Championships in Genk, Belgium. Photograph – UIPM.

The OCR World Championship gave her a great opportunity to practise the new ninja warrior-style obstacle race discipline on an international stage.

“I competed in the 3km and the 100m. The 100m was especially on an elite level, with very specialised obstacles,” she said.

From an icy European October, Kayla jetsetted to hot and humid Bali for the Biathle/Triathle World Championship.

She competed in mixed and individual events for both the Biathle and Triathle junior divisions – a total of four events over four gruelling days of competition.

Kayla placed fifth in the Triathle and seventh in the Biathle individual events. But, together with fellow Aussie Amos Vagg, the pair brought home silver medals in both mixed relays.

Kayla said standing on the podium in Bali, representing Australia, was one of her proudest moments.

She also said she’s learned a great deal during her time away.

“Over the course of this trip, I have really learnt that while performing is important, and achieving places and times can be great, it’s not the be all and end all. There is more to sport than achievement.”

“For me, my faith plays a big part in my sport. It is important as well to enjoy the experiences as they come, meet people from all around the world, and just take everything in,” she said.

“Thanks to all the family, friends, coaches and supporters who supported me during my travels.”