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IPC Ukraine World Cup Recap

The second seven-day-long International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Cup race series began Friday, Jan. 13 in Western Center, Ukraine, and ran until Friday, Jan 20. Athletes of both genders competed in three cross-country events as well as three biathlon events. No North Americans–men or women–competed in this IPC week.

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Day 1: Women’s 2.5 k/7.5 k & Men’s 5 k/10 k Classic Events

Friday the 13th may not be a lucky day for many athletes, but for Germany’s Andrea Eskau, it was the kickstarter to a three-day winning streak.

Her first victory came in the women’s 2.5-kilometer classic event, which she won in a time of 10:17.6. She finished ahead of Belarus’s Lidziya Hrafeyeva, who finished in a time of 10:49.9 for second place and China’s Beibei Chu, who finished third in a time of 11:20.0.

In the men’s 5 k classic ski ski event, Korea’s Eui Hyun Sin claimed first in a time of 18:14.6. Second place went to Maksym Yarovyi of Ukraine in a time of 18:30.9, while his Ukrainian teammate Taras Rad took third in a time of 18:50.8.

The Ukrainian women’s team earned their first win on home soil for the week with Oleksandra Kononova’s victory in the women’s 7.5 k standing classic event. Kononova completed the course in a time of 19:53.1, besting her Ukrainian teammate Iuliia Batenkova, who finished in a time of 20:04.9 for second place.

The third and final podium spot went to Yurika Abe of Japan in a time of 21:19.3.

Another Ukrainian took the top spot in the men’s standing 10 k classic event, with Ihor Reptyukh emerging victorious with a winning time of 26:12.9. Second place went to Finland’s Ilkka Tuomisto in a time of 26:27.1, while Ukraine’s Grygorii Vovchynski claimed third after posting a time of 26:56.8.

The final women’s event for the day, the 7.5 k visually impaired classic event, went to Austria’s Carina Edlinger, who finished in a time of 21:52.9. Olga Prylutska of Ukraine finished in second after completing the course in a time of 22:00.8 and her Ukrainian teammate, Oksana Shyshkova took the final podium spot in a time of 23:43.5.

France’s Thomas Clarion claimed the top spot in the men’s 10 k visually impaired standing event, finishing in a time of 25:15.9. Second place went to Yury Holub of Belarus in a time of 26:54.9, while Ukraine’s Dmytro Suiarko took third in a time of 26:59.5.

Results: Women | Men

Day 2: Women’s 12 k/15 k & Men’s 15 k/20 k Freestyle Events

Germany’s Andrea Eskau earned her second win in a row on Sunday, Jan. 15, racing to a first place finish in the women’s 12 k sit skiing event. She completed the course in a time of 43:07.1, besting her German teammate Anja Wicker, who finished in second place in a time of 45:22.1. The final podium spot went to Belarus’s Lidziya Hrafeyeva, who finished in a time of 45:33.2.

Eui Hyun Sin of Korea also claimed his second win in a row, racing to a first place finish in the men’s 15 k sit skiing event. Sin finished in a time of 45:53.3 for first, once again ahead of Ukrainian sit skier, Maksym Yarovyi in second in a time of 46:20.0. Third went to Belarus’s Dzmitry Loban in a time of 47:32.9.

An all Ukrainian podium occurred in the women’s 15 k standing freestyle event, with Oleksandra Kononova claiming her second victory in a row ahead of her teammates Iuliia Batenkova and  Liudmyla Liashenko. Kononova completed the course in a time of 50:11.3, while Batenkova finished in 50:14.8 and Liashenko in 51:18.5.

Also claiming his second win in a row was Ukraine’s Ihor Reptyukh, who won the men’s 20 k standing freestyle event in a time of 57:05.7. Norway’s Nils-Erik Ulset earned second place, clocking in at 57:54.8. The third and final podium spot went to Ukraine’s Grygorii Vovchynski in a time of 59:51.5.

Moving up from her Day 1 third place to a first place finish on Day 2 was Oksana Shyshkova, who won the women’s 15 k visually impaired freestyle event in a time of 52:49.6. Austria’s Carina Edlinger returned to the podium, this time in second place after completing the course in a time of 53:56.4. Olga Prylutska of Ukraine claimed the final podium spot in a time of 54:39.4.

A repeat first place performance greeted France’s Thomas Clarion, who won the men’s 20 k visually impaired freestyle event in a time of 56:25.9. His French teammate, Anthony Chalencon earned second place, after completing the course in a time of 58:42.7, while Iurii Utkin took third in a time of 58:55.9.

Results: Women | Men

Day 3: Women’s & Men’s Freestyle Sprints

Athletes returned to the race venue on Monday, Jan. 16 for the final day of cross-country competitions, freestyle sprints.

Andrea Eskau took her third win in a row, winning the women’s sit sprint in a time of 3:33.18. Crossing behind her in second was Belarus’s Lidziya Hrafeyeva in a time of 3:47.89. Norwegian Birgit Skarstein snagged her first podium of the week, crossing third in a time of 3:47.73.

In the men’s sit sprint, it was Maksym Yarovyi of Ukraine who took the win, crossing first in a time of 3:04.26. Crossing behind him in second was Dzmitry Loban of Belarus in a time of 3:17.97, while Korea’s Eui Hyun Sin claimed third, crossing in a time of 3:12.43.

For the second day in a row, Ukraine’s women swept the standing podium, with Oleksandra Kononova winning the women’s standing freestyle sprint event in a time of 4:14.10. Second place went to her teammate Liudmyla Liashenko in a time of 4:18.51, and third to Iryna Bui, who crossed in a time of 4:43.13.

Grygorii Vovchynski of Ukraine won the men’s standing freestyle sprint event, besting his teammate Ihor Reptyukh for first. Vovchynski crossed in a time of 3:41.16 and Reptyukh in 3:30.60. Rounding out the podium for Day 3 was Finland’s Ilkka Tuomisto, who crossed in a time of 3:43.21 to claim third.

Holding onto her first place position for the second day in a row was Ukraine’s Oksana Shyshkova, who crossed first in the women’s visually impaired freestyle sprint in a time of 4:22.65. Second place went to her Ukrainian teammate Olga Prylutska, who crossed in a time of 4:27.96, while Austria’s Carina Edlinger claimed third in a time of 4:30.05.

Making his way to the top of the men’s visually impaired sprint podium on Monday was Iurii Utkin of Ukraine, who crossed first in a time of 3:34.68. Second place went to his Ukrainian teammate Anatolii Kovalevskyi, crossing in a time of 3:36.33, while third went to Belarus skier, Yury Holub in a time of 3:37.98.

Results: Women | Men

Day 4: Women’s 12.5 k & Men’s 15 k Biathlon Events

With the completion of the week’s cross-country events, Tuesday, Jan. 17 marked the first of three biathlon competitions for IPC competitors in Western Center, Ukraine.

Proving her hand in shooting as well as skiing, Andrea Eskau took her fourth win of the week, racing to a first place finish in the women’s 12.5 k sitting biathlon event. Eskau clocked in at 49:11.5 after two missed shots (0+0+1+1).

Second place went to Lidziya Hrafeyeva of Belarus in a time of 52:19.7 also with two misses (1+0+0+1), while third was claimed by Germany’s Anja Wicker in a time of 52:30.0 with four missed shots (4+0+0+0).

For his first medal of the week, Norway’s Trygve Steinar Larsen took the win in the men’s 15 k sitting biathlon event, finishing in a time of 48:33.8 after just one missed shot (0+0+0+1). Dzmitry Loban of Belarus took second in a time of 49:31.0 with two missed shots (0+2+0+0), and rounding out the final men’s podium spot was Taras Rad of Ukraine, who clocked in at 49:41.7 and missed two shots (0+0+0+2).

Continuing her cross-country victories into biathlon, Ukraine’s Oleksandra Kononova emerged victorious in the women’s 12.5 k standing biathlon event, completing the course in a time of 45:40.9 after missing four shots (2+1+0+2). Second place went to Japan’s Momoko Dekijima, who finished in a time of 48:09.2 after two misses (1+0+0+1), while third place went to Ukraine’s Iuliia Batenkova in a time of 48:33.3 with four missed shots (0+1+2+1).

France’s Benjamin Daviet earned his first podium of the week, winning the men’s 15 k standing biathlon event in a time of 40:59.7 after shooting clean. Nils-Erik Ulset of Norway claimed second place, clocking in in a time of 43:17.7 after one miss (0+1+0+0), while Grygorii Vovchynski of Ukraine took third, completing the course in a time of 43:58.4 also with one miss (1+0+0+0).

The final women’s event on the day, the 12.5 k visually impaired biathlon event, went to Oksana Shyshkova of Ukraine, who completed the course in a time of 45:06.4 with one miss (0+0+0+1). Her teammate Olga Prylutska claimed second in a time of 45:12.7 after tying Shyshkova’s shooting score. The final podium spot went to Germany’s Clara Klug, who shot 100 percent and completed the course in a time of 47:09.0.

In the men’s visually impaired 15 k biathlon event, Anthony Chalencon of France took first in a time of 44:20.2 after shooting clean, while Belarus’s Vasili Shaptsiaboi raced to a second place finish, clocking in at 44:58.2 and missing one shot (0+0+0+1). Also with one miss (0+0+1+0) was third place finisher, Iaroslav Reshetynskiy of Ukraine, who complete the course in a time of 44:58.8.

Results: Women | Men

Day 5: Women’s 6 k and Men’s 7.5 k Biathlon Events

Breaking Germany’s winning streak in the women’s sitting events, Belarus’s Lidziya Hrafeyeva claimed first in the 6 k sitting biathlon event on Thursday, Jan. 19, completing the course in a time of 24:06.3 after shooting 100 percent.

Germany’s Anja Wicker took second in a time of 25:30.1 with two missed shots (0+2), while her German teammate, Andrea Eskau took third in a time of 26:39.8 after four misses (1+3).

Taras Rad of Ukraine won the men’s 7.5 k standing biathlon event, clocking in at 23:40.8 after shooting clean.  Second place went to Dzmitry Loban of Belarus in a time of 24:40.2 after two missed shots (1+1), while third place went to Ukraine’s Maksym Yarovyi in a time of 25:08.8 after four missed shots (3+1).

Ukraine’s Oleksandra Kononova once again, won the women’s standing biathlon event, completing the 6 k course in a time of 18:29.5 after two misses (1+1). Second place went to her Ukrainian teammate Liudmyla Liashenko in a time of 19:10.7 after one miss (0+1). Rounding out the final podium spot was Iryna Bui, also of Ukraine, who clocked in at 20:27.4 after three missed shots (3+0).

The men’s 7.5 k standing biathlon event once again went to France’s Benjamin Daviet, who completed the course in a time of 21:01.1 after one miss (1+0). Tying his score for second place was Norway’s Nils-Erik Ulset, who clocked in in a time of 21:49.4. Third place went to Ukraine’s Ihor Reptyukh, who completed the course in a time of 0 21:53.6 after two missed shots (2+0).

Olga Prylutska of Ukraine won the women’s 6 k visually impaired biahtlon event, clocking in in a time of 19:51.9 after two misses (1+1). Shooting clean was Germany’s Clara Klug, who completed the course in a time of 21:12.9 for second place. Oksana Shyshkova of Ukraine claimed the final podium spot in third, finishing in a time of 21:33.6 after four misses (2+2).

On the men’s side, Vitaliy Lukyanenko of Ukraine won the 7.5 visually impaired biathlon event, completing the course in a time of 22:29.8 after shooting 100 percent. Second place went to Iurii Utkin, also of Ukraine, in a time of 22:46.1 with two misses (1+1), while Ukraine’s Iaroslav Reshetynskiy earned third place after tying Utkin shooting score and clocking in at 23:01.1.

Results: Women | Men

Day 6: Women’s 10 k & Men’s 12.5 k Biathlon Events

The final week’s IPC event took place on Friday, Jan. 20 with athletes competing in a middle distance biathlon event.

Working her way back to the top of the results was Germany’s Andrea Eskau, who won the women’s 10 k sitting biathlon event in a time of 40:34.5 after missing two shots (0+1+0+1). Shooting clean was her teammate Anja Wicker, who claimed second in a time of 41:10.0. Third place went to Belarus’s Lidziya Hrafeyeva, who completed the course in a time of 43:35.2 after four missed shots (1+2+0+1).

Reaching the podium for the first time during the week on Friday was Germany’s Martin Fleig, who finished first in the men’s 12.5 k sitting biathlon event. After shooting 100 percent, Fleig clocked in at 40:21.4 for the win. Finishing behind Fleig in second was Belarus’s Dzmitry Loban, who clocked in at 40:29.6 after one miss (0+1+0+0). Third place went to Taras Rad of Ukraine in a time of 41:06.6 after two missed shots (0+1+0+1).

Completing a six-in-a-row winning streak was Ukraine’s Oleksandra Kononova, who claimed first in the women’s 10 k standing biathlon event in a time of 29:36.7 after shooting clean. Second place went to her teammate, Liudmyla Liashenko, who also shot 100 percent, and finished in a time of 31:09.6. The third and final podium spot went to their Ukrainian teammate, Iuliia Batenkova, who completed the course in a time of 33:18.9 after one miss (0+0+0+1).

Back on the podium on the men’s side was France’s Benjamin Daviet, who won the men’s 12.5 k standing biahtlon event in a time of 35:25.9 after shooting clean. Ihor Reptyukh claimed second place in a time of 35:50.1 after two missed shots (1+0+0+1), while Norwegian Nils-Erik Ulset took third in a time of 36:31.4 after shooting 100 percent.

Oksana Shyshkova won the women’s 10 k visually impaired biathlon event, clocking in in a time of 33:06.3 after two missed shots (1+1+0+0). Germany’s Clara Klug claimed second, finishing in a time of 36:29.2 with four misses (0+2+1+1), while Ukraine’s Olga Prylutska took third in a time of 36:58.0 after seven missed shots (1+2+2+2).

The men’s final event, the 12.5 k visually impaired biathlon event, went to Ukraine’s Vitaliy Lukyanenko, who clocked in in a time of 38:50.0 after shooting clean. Second place went to Anatolii Kovalevskyi,also of Ukraine, in a time of 39:11.0 after four missed shots (3+0+0+1). Rounding out the final podium spot in third was Ukraine’s Dmytro Suiarko, who finished in a time of 39:57.7 and missed three shots (3+0+0+0).

Results: Women | Men

— Gabby Naranja

Second Cross-Country World Cup Win of the Week for Masters on Day 5 of IPC

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Three North Americans Reach the IPC Podium on Day 3 in Vuokatti

  Monday, Dec. 11 marked Day three of the 2016/2017 International Paralympic Cup season’s opening competitions in Vuokatti, Finland. Athletes returned to the venue for the distance biathlon races, with Canada’s Mark Arendz and the U.S.’s Daniel Cnossen and Oksana Masters once again reaching the podium in their respective events. Full race recap and results detailed below. *** Canada’s Mark Arendz rendered his second silver medal in a row after finishing second in the International Paralympic Cup (IPC) men’s 15-kilometer biathlon standing event on Monday, Dec. 11 which took place in Vuokatti, Finland. “There were a few things I can take away from the race to work and improve on, but in the end, it was a solid day,” Arendz said according to a Cross Coutntry Canada press release. “Unfortunately I had the one miss in my third bout. It was a breathing error after a troublesome setup. But it…

Masters Claims First Biathlon World Cup Win on Day 2 in Vuokatti; Four Titles for Ukraine

Day two of the 2016/2017 International Paralympic Cup season’s opening races in Vuokatti, Finland took place on Saturday, Dec. 10, with many athletes returning to the trails for a biathlon sprint. U.S. paralympic ski team member, Oksana Masters tallied her second win in a row, while Canada’s Mark Arendz and American Daniel Cnossen also made the podium in their respective events. Full race recap and results detailed below. *** While U.S. paralympic skier Oksana Masters has plenty of cross-country International Paralympic Cup (IPC) titles to her name–she ended last season undefeated in every cross-country event and opened this season with a win–Saturday marked her first victory in a biathlon World Cup. “I feel completely shocked because Anja Wicker out shot me but I was able to ski a little faster to narrowly take the win,” Masters wrote in an email to FasterSkier. Finishing first in the the women’s 6-kilometer biathlon…

Masters and McKeever Emerge Victorious in Opening IPC Cross-Country Races in Vuokatti

The opening races for the 2016/2017  International Paralympic Cup season took place this past Friday, Dec. 9, in Vuokatti, Finland with a few North American names topping the podium in their respective events. For the U.S. women, Oksana Masters tallied her first win of the season in the sit sprint event, while Canada’s Brian McKeever won the men’s visually impaired classic sprint competition. Full race recap and results detailed below. *** After she ended last season undefeated in every International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Cup cross-country event, U.S. paralympic athlete Oksana Masters kept her winning streak going when she took gold in the women’s cross-country sit sprint during the opening races of the IPC 2016/2017 season this Friday, Dec. 9. With the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro just a few months behind her–she competed in the Rio Paralympic games as a handcyclist-– Master saw her victory on Day…

McFadden Ties for Most Medals at Rio Paralympics; Pike 10th in Marathon

The 2016 Paralympic Summer Games wrapped up on last Sunday with the men’s and women’s T54 marathon road race, taking place on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After covering the 26.2-mile course amidst temperatures in the mid-80s, it came down to a photo finish between American Tatyana McFadden and China’s Lihong Zou. Zou edged McFadden by a wheel for the win, and both finished in 1:38.44. McFadden, of Clarksville Md., took second for her sixth medal of the Games while her U.S. teammate Amanda McGrory, of Savoy, Ill., crossed one-hundredth of a second behind her for bronze. “In London, I didn’t medal in the marathon because I had technical difficulties but here, it was great to come home with a silver,” McFadden, who has been competing since the 2004 Paralympics in Athens, Greece, told U.S. Paralympics, according press release. “I’ve worked really, really hard and it’s a great way to end the Games.”…

Update: No Russians in Rio, But Paralympians Not Banned from Pyeongchang

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Russian Paralympic Committee Appeals Suspension

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Masters Takes Another Win and Fourth Individual Podium in Finsterau (Updated)

By Gabby Naranja (Note: This post has been updated to include comments from U.S. Paralympics Nordic coach Eileen Carey.) Just as paramount to the prized top step of the podium is the process of getting there. U.S. skier, Oksana Masters, can attest to that after spending the beginning of the season battling illness and then emerging with double victories at the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) World Cup races in Finsterau, Germany. “I love to race and get excited on every start line,” Masters, who took her second win of the week in the women’s 1-kilometer sitting sprint on Saturday, Feb. 27, wrote in an email. “I unfortunately was sick for a majority of the racing season and I had to miss lots of intensity. When I was healthy to do intensity we made sure that it would be the most beneficial and get the most out of it. I was so…