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Arendz, Hudak Race to Bronze in Biathlon Sprints at IPC World Cup Finals

 

Mark Arendz (Canadian Para-Nordic Ski Team) racing to bronze in the men's biathlon 7.5 k standing sprint on Wednesday at IPC World Cup Finals in Surnadal, Norway. (Photo: CCC/Facebook)

Mark Arendz (Canadian Para-Nordic Ski Team) racing to bronze in the men’s biathlon 7.5 k standing sprint on Wednesday at IPC World Cup Finals in Surnadal, Norway. (Photo: Lediard Foto/CCC Facebook)

(Combined IPC/CCC press releases)

Canadian Mark Arendz fought his way into podium contention after a late penalty in the men’s 7.5-kilometer standing sprint on Wednesday, the first day of biathlon competition at IPC World Cup Finals in Surnadal, Norway.

The two-time Paralympian put down a fast last lap to finish 46 seconds behind defending world champion Vladislav Lekomtcev of Russia, who won in 17:20.1 with perfect shooting. Norway’s Nils-Erik Ulset also shot clean to finish 44.9 seconds back in second.

“It was a great skiing race for me,” Arendz, 25, said in a Canadian Para-Nordic Ski Team press release. “I was moving well throughout the race, but made a bit of work for myself with that miss on the range. I felt confident on the range, but a miss is costly. There was some really tight results in my field and I have to be pleased I skied somewhat back after that first miss is my second shooting.”

Russia’s Iuliia Budaleeva and Ukraine’s Oleksandra Kononova both continued their winning streaks during Wednesday’s biathlon races.

Brittany Hudak (Canadian Para-Nordic Ski Team) racing to bronze in Wednesday's biathlon 6 k standing sprint at IPC World Cup Finals in Surnadal, Norway. (Photo: Lediard Foto/CCC Facebook)

Brittany Hudak (Canadian Para-Nordic Ski Team) racing to bronze in Wednesday’s biathlon 6 k standing sprint at IPC World Cup Finals in Surnadal, Norway. (Photo: Lediard Foto/CCC Facebook)

Kononova, who won every race at IPC World Championships in January, once again topped the podium in the women’s 6 k standing sprint. Having missed one shot in the first shooting, Kononova put down the winning time of  16:15.3, just 3.4 seconds faster than fellow Ukrainian Liudmyla Liashenko, who cleaned for second. Canada’s Brittany Hudak shot clean and made up 13 seconds on her last lap for her second-straight podium in as many days, finishing 15.4 seconds behind Kononova in third.

After winning Tuesday’s cross-country, long-distance race, Budaleeva and her guide Tatiana Maltseva racked up a 6 k visually impaired biathlon victory with clean shooting in 17:22.2. Ukraine’s Oksana Shyshkova with guide Lada Nesterenko placed second (17:33.8) and Olga Prylutska and guide Borys Babar finished third (17:35.1).

Budaleeva’s Russian teammates added three more gold medals to their tally.

Having finished second in Tuesday’s visually impaired men’s race, Stanislav Chokhlaev and guide Evgenii Fatkhullin won the closest race of the day on Wednesday in 19:04.1, just 0.5 seconds ahead of Ukraine’s Anatolii Kovalevskyi with guide Oleksandr Mukshyn (19:04.6). While Kovalevskyi presented a clean sheet, Choklaev missed one shot and had to push hard to reach the top of the podium. Nikolay Polukhin and guide Andrey Tokarev (19:16.0) finished in third place.

Aleksandr Davidovich completed Russia’s collection of gold medals of the day, topping the podium in the men’s 7.5 k sitting without missing a single shot and a time of 21:11.8. Germany’s Martin Fleig finished in second (21:45.8), 2.2 seconds ahead of world champion Maksym Yarvoyi of Ukraine in third (21:48.0).

American Andy Soule placed fourth with one penalty in the first shooting, 13.7 seconds off the podium and 49.9 seconds after Davidovich. Soule’s teammate, Dan Cnossen was sixth, another 7.3 seconds back with a single miss as well (1+0).

Fleig’s teammate Anja Wicker won the women’s 6 k sitting race with perfect shooting in 20:18.1. Russia’s Natalia Kocherova finished second (21:04.6) and Belarus’ Lidziya Hrafeyeva took third (21:21.5). Oksana Masters of the U.S. was fifth, 1:18 behind Wicker with three penalties (1+2).

IPC World Cup Finals continue through Sunday with cross-country middle-distance classic as well as pursuit and long-distance biathlon races.

Results: Men | Women

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