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

After an exhibition relay event on Wednesday, paralympic nordic athletes returned to the competition venue on Thursday, Dec. 15 for Day five of the 2016/2017 International Paralympic Cup season’s opening races in Vuokatti, Finland. Thursday marked the men’s and women’s distance classic events, with Oksana Masters of the U.S. claiming her second cross-country World Cup win of the week, her third total. Full race recap and results detailed below.

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If  U.S. paralympian Oksana Masters keeps it up, she may not only finish one International Paralympic Cup (IPC) season undefeated, but two in a row. The 27-year-old raced to her second cross-country World Cup win of the week on Thursday, putting down the fastest time for the women’s 12-kilometer classic sit ski race.

Masters covered the course in a time of 41:23.8, besting Belarus’s Lidziya Hrafeyeva, who finished behind Masters in second in a time of 43:09.5.

Another Belarusian skier, Liudmila Vauchok, took the final podium spot, completing the course in a time of 44:09.9 for third place overall.

In the men’s 15 k classic sit ski event, Ukraine’s Maksym Yarovyi took first place in a time of 44:32.3. Second went to Korea’s Eui Hyun Sin in a time of 45:25.9, while the U.S.’s  Daniel Cnossen took the final podium spot in third in time of 46:07.3.

American Andy Soule also competed in the event, finishing in 11th overall in a time of 50:53.3.

Ukraine saw another podium sweep in the women’s 15 k classic standing event with Oleksandra Kononova taking the top spot after covering the course in a time of 51:09.0. Second place went to Iuliia Batenkova and third to Liudmyla Liashenko. Batenkova finished in a time of 51:52.4 and Liashenko in 52:13.9.

The only North American woman to compete in the event, Brittany Hudak finished in fifth overall, clocking in at 54:45.7.

In the men’s 20 k classic standing event, Ukrainian ski racer Ihor Reptyukh claimed first, finishing in a time of 51:21.6. Finishing in a time of 51:59.6 was Finland’s lkka Tuomisto in second place overall, third went to Canada’s Mark Arendz who clocked in in a time of 52:14.1.

The women’s 15 k classic visually impaired race went to Ukraine’s Oksana Shyshkova, who finished in a time of 55:44.6. In second place overall was Austria’s Carina Edlinger in second in a time of 2 56:32.3. The final podium spot went to another Ukrainian Olga Prylutska, who finished in a time of 58:22.5.

The final event of the day, the men’s 20 k visually impaired event, was claimed by Sweden’s Zebastian Modin, who clocked in in a time of 52:48.6. France’s Thomas Clarion finished second in a time of 54:02.3, while the final podium spot went to  of Ukraine, who clocked in in a time of 54:29.3.
Results: Men | Women

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

(Note: This post has been updated to include details about the IPC’s announcement on Thursday that it will not allow individual Russian athletes to participate at the Rio Paralympics, despite fielding more than 175 individual requests. Also, on Wednesday, the Swiss Federal Tribunal dismissed the Russian Paralympic Committee’s request for provisional measures to allow its athletes to participate in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.) *** After much confusion, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) reiterated in a statement earlier this week that Russia is not banned from the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, despite the Russian Paralympic Committee’s declaration that it was. The IPC stated it was “currently in the process of developing the steps the Russian Paralympic Committee will need to take to meet its membership obligations” and “By rule, the Russian Paralympic Committee’s suspension will be lifted immediately following the Governing Board’s determination that the member is once again able to meet its membership obligations…

Russian Paralympic Committee Appeal Dismissed

(Press release) On Tuesday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Tuesday dismissed an appeal by the Russian Paralympic Committee against its suspension by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). The IPC suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee on Aug. 7 due to its inability to fulfil its IPC membership responsibilities and obligations, in particular its obligation to comply with the IPC Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Code (to which it is also a signatory). Sir Philip Craven, IPC President, said: “We are greatly encouraged that the CAS Panel has upheld the IPC Governing Board’s unanimous decision to hold the Russian Paralympic Committee accountable for its membership responsibilities and obligations. “Today’s decision underlines our strong belief that doping has absolutely no place in Paralympic sport, and further improves our ability to ensure fair competition and a level playing field for all Para athletes around the world. “Although we are pleased with the decision,…

Russian Paralympic Committee Appeals Suspension

The Russian Paralympic Committee has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) suspended its membership, the IPC announced in a press release on Monday. Based on an agreement between the two parties, the appeal will be heard by the CAS this Sunday, Aug. 21, and the CAS will announce its final decision by midnight (Central European Summer Time) on Monday, Aug. 22. Just over a week ago, the IPC suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee on Aug. 7 because it failed to comply with its IPC Anti-Doping Code and World Anti-Doping Code. Russia is hoping to compete in the 2016 Rio Paralympics, which start in early September, but is currently banned from all IPC competitions.

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…

Masters Breaks Up Russian XC Sweep; Soule on the Podium at Finsterau World Cup

By Gabby Naranja Scientific research suggests the loss of one sense sharpens the others. In biathlon for visually impaired skiers — who must detect the targets using auditory tonal cues — this finding holds a high ring of truth. Though tracking down target centers using sound alone seems superhuman, Russian para-nordic skier Stanislav Chokhlaev proved when it comes to aiming using his ears, he’s one of the best. With just one miss (0+1), Chokhlaev topped the men’s 7.5-kilometer visually impaired biathlon sprint last Monday, Feb. 22, kicking off the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) World Cup races in Finsterau, Germany, with a win. Besting Russian teammate Nikolay Polukhin, Chokhlaev completed the men’s three-loop race in a time of 24:34.1 for the overall win. With two misses, Polukhin settled in second place overall. Third place went to Ukraine’s Iurii Utkin, who shot clean. The Russian reign over the top spot continued, with Ivan Golubkov finishing first…