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IPC Recap: Masters Earns Triple Biathlon Crown at IPC Opener in Canmore

On Sept. 6, 2017, the  International Paralympic Committee (IPC) governing board decided to maintain the suspension of the Russian Paralympic Committee. Russian athletes are allowed to compete as neutral athletes and are designated accordingly in this recap of the IPC World Cup from Dec. 9-17 in Canmore, Alberta.

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IPC World Cup: Canmore, Alberta (Cross-country)

Day 1: Cross-country

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) season kicked off Saturday, Dec. 9 in Canmore, Alberta with a men’s and women’s cross-country sprint event.

Canada’s Emily Young reached the podium In the women’s standing event, crossing third in a time of 3:37.63. Ahead of her was Neutral athlete Ekaterina Rumyantseva, finishing first in a time of 3:22.16 and neutral athlete Anna Milenina, who crossed second in a time of 3:34.36.

Two other Canadians competed in the final and finished just shy of the podium, with Natalie Wilkie crossing fourth in a time of 3:38.22 and Brittany Hudak crossing fifth in a time of 3:45.12.

“In the final, my goal was to hold my technique, keep skiing, and do the best I can,” Young said according to a Cross Country Canada press release. “”Three Canadians in the final made it so much better. We are bringing Natalie Wilkie in. We support each other in the race, won’t cut each other off, but when it comes down to it – it’s everyone for themselves. You saw that today.”

The U.S.’s Grace Miller ended the day in 11th in a time of 4:55.55, while Canadian Lyne-Marie Bilodeau finished in 13th after completing the course in a time of 5:08.90.

In the women’s sitting sprint event, Germany’s Andrea Eskau claimed the win, covering the course in a time of 2:44.85. Neutral athlete Marta Zainullina crossed second in a time of 2:51.38, while Norwegian Birgit Skarstein snagged the final podium spot, crossing in a time of 2:55.12 for third. Though she advanced to the final, the U.S.’s Oksana Masters was disqualified after a false start.

“I’m very happy with how I skied today,” Masters posted on her Instagram. “Unfortunately I got a little too excited at the start of the final and started by 0.5 seconds too soon.”

“I completely take 100 percent accountability for the accidental false start,” she added. “Mistakes happen and I am so ready to throw it down in tomorrow’s race with a little more motivation.”

Also racing for the U.S. was Kendall Gretsch in 11th (3:04.02) and Joy Rondeau in 20th (4:07.78).

Two Canadians raced in the sitting event, with Cindy Ouelett placing 18th (3:35.10) and her teammate, Tanya Quesnel 21st (5:00.28).

Neutral athlete Mikhalina Lysova won the women’s visually impaired sprint, crossing in a time of 3:27.47. Neutral athlete Elena Remizova, took the next podium spot in second i after finishing the course in a time of 3:30.70. Austrian skier, Carina Edlinger, finished third in a time of 3:33.18. Mia Zutter was the only American in the event and finished in sixth in a time of 4:09.58.

Three Canadians raced the event, with Maya Jonas in ninth (5:45.52), Celine Kavanaugh in 10th (6:02.93), and Julie Mayer in 11th (7:51.57).

The men’s standing sprint event went to France’s Benjamin Daviet, who won the race in a time of 2:38.96. Neutral athlete Vladislav Lekomtsev placed second in a time of 2:43.33, while Neutral athlete Rushan Minnegulov claimed third in a time of 2:54.04. Canada’s Mark Arendz ended the day in eighth (2:58.47).

Four other Canadians raced Saturday’s standing sprint, with Andy Lin finishing in 22nd (3:19.40), Kyle Barber in 26th (3:30.31), Jason Naval in 27th (3:47.82), and Jesse Ehman in 29th (3:56.81).

Racing for the U.S. was Ruslan Reiter in 21st.

American Andy Soule reached the podium in the men’s sitting sprint, placing third after covering the course in a time of 2:28.44. Winning the event was Neutral athlete Ivan Golubkov in first after crossing in a time of 2:15.54. Neutral athlete Aleksei Bychenok claimed second with a time of 2:25.77.

Also making the final was American Daniel Cnossen in sixth (2:23.02). Aaron Pike, also of the U.S., just missed the final, finishing seventh in a time of 2:26.82.

Four more Americans raced in Saturday’s sitting sprint, with Jeremy Wagner in 18th (2:41.39), Bryan Price in 19th (2:41.90), Sean Halsted in 20th (2:42.56) and Eric Frazier in 33rd (3:12.85).

Racing for Canada in the men’s sitting sprint was Collin Cameron in 13th (2:36.13), Sebastien Fortier in 17th (2:40.52), Derek Zaplotinsky in 22nd (2:43.55), Yves Bourque in 29th (2:52.09), Ethan Hess in 31st (2:53.97). Canadian Chris Klebl did not start.

In the men’s visually impaired sprint, Neutral athlete Oleg Ponomarev took the win in a time of 2:41.12. Another Neutral athlete skier, Vladimir Udaltsov placed second in a time of 2:41.80, while third went to Sweden’s Zebastian Modin in a time of 2:46.44.

Just missing the podium was the U.S’s Jake Adicoff in fourth, who crossed in a time of 2:47.76. Canada’s Jesse Bachinsky placed 16th, after covering the course in a time of 3:32.53.

Saturday results: Women sprint | Men sprint

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Day 2: Cross-country

On Sunday, Dec. 10, racers returned to the venue for the men’s and women’s middle distance cross-country event.

In the women’s sitting 5-kilometer race, Germany’s Eskau doubled up on her weekend wins, placing first in a time of 15:21.3.

“I’m really excited,” Eskau said according to an IPC press release. “Yesterday I won by luck. Today was strength. It’s more important to win today than yesterday,” she continued, referring to her win over Masters, who was disqualified in Saturday’s sprint after a false start.

Masters of the U.S. finished in second, five seconds back from Eskau.

“I feel like I’m in a pretty good place, considering this is only the second race of the season,” Masters said according to an IPC press release. “My goal for today was to start well over my time. I nailed that by a few seconds. Got that down.Raced my own race. I know I’m not there yet with my fitness. I feel very happy with where I’m at.”

“I look at the Paralympics as the main war,” Masters continued. “These are the tiny battles. That is my war. I’m trying to go far.

The third and final podium spot went to Neutral athlete Zainullina, who finished 38.7 seconds behind Eskau’s winning time.

Two more Americans competed in the 5 k sitting event, with Gretsch placing sixth (+1:17.2) and Rondeau 21st (+6:12.9). Canada’s Ouelett and Quesnel finished 18th (4:04.6) and 22nd (+9:32.4), respectively.

In the women’s standing 7.5 k cross-country race, Neutral athlete Rumyantseva tallied another win, finishing first in a time of 19:44.1. Placing second, 24.3 seconds behind her was Neutral athlete Milenina. Young repeated her third place position, snagging the final spot in Sunday’s 7.5 k standing event after finishing 1:21.6 seconds off of Rumyantseva’s time.

“This is my first year starting at the back, hunting people down,” Young said according to a Cross Country Canada press release. “It was really cool being out there, reeling people in. It was just like fishing out there.”

“It wasn’t until last year that I finally felt like a competitor on the snow, and not just present being the caboose on the trails,” said Young. “I feel like the light bulb went on in Germany (World Championships last February), and my skill level now matches my drive. I feel I can actually compete and push now, and that is a lot of fun.”

Just behind Young were her Canadian teammates, Wilkie and Hudak in fourth (+1:53.0) and fifth (+2:40.8), respectively.

“It was a lot of fun to race on home trails and have everyone cheering for Canada,” Hudak said according to a Cross Country Canada press release. “The first races of the year are always kind of a mystery. You don’t know where you’re going to end up so it is nice to get everyone together again and get a better picture of where you are at. I felt good and hope to build on this.”

Competing for the U.S. was Miller in 12th (+6:41.8 2).

Neutral athlete Lysova sealed a back-to-back win in the women’s visually impaired 7.5 k race, clocking in in a time of 19:57.1. Neutral athlete Remizova, finished in second, 0.8 seconds behind the race winner. Austria’s Edlinger finished third, 55.9 seconds back from Lysova.

Zutter of the U.S. finished in sixth (+3:13.6), while Canadians Kavanaugh and Jonas placed eighth (+15:01.4) and ninth (+22:12.9), respectively.

In the men’s sitting 7.5 k sitting race, Neutral athlete Golubkov won once again, completing the course in a time of 20:33.8. Neutral athlete skier Aleksandr Davidovich placed second (+50.5), while China’s Peng Zheng took third (+1:10.3).

For the American’s, Cnossen placed fifth (+1:23.1 2), Soule 10th (+2:02.9), Pike 12th (+2:17.4), Halsted 21st (+3:13.7), Wagner 23rd (+3:49.5), and Frazier 35th (+9:48.0).

Canada’s Klebl was eighth (+1:48.2), followed by Zaplotinsky in ninth (+2:09.3), Cameron in 14th (+2:23.6), Fortier in 16th (+2:30.6), Bourque in 31st (+5:49.6) and Hess in 32nd (+5:36.9 2).

France’s Daviet earned his second win in a row, claiming first in the men’s standing 10 k event after covering the course in a time of 22:14.1. Minnegulov, an Neutral athlete skier, placed second (+27.9) and Aleksandr Pronkov, another Neutral athlete athlete, placed third (+34.5).

“Will I celebrate? Not yet. The season is long,” Daviet said according to an IPC press release. “For a start, this is perfect. I am in good shape. I feel the altitude in Canmore, but we have to manage our strength.”

Canada’s Arendz just missed the podium in fourth (+1:14.0).

“I started hard and tried to see if I could hold it. I maybe went a bit too hard in the first lap, but the last three were consistent so I’m happy with the results,” Arendz said according to a Cross Country Canada press release.

“Right now, is all about working out the bugs, making sure we mimic how I want to approach the race in March (Paralympics). At the end, I’ll look and see where I stack up, but I know my shape will be much different come March.”

Three other Canadians completed Sunday’s race, with Barber finishing in 26th (+7:27.1 2), Lin in 30th (+8:36.4), and Naval in 31st (+14:43.0). Reiter of the U.S. placed 19th (+4:22.2) and Ehman of Canada did not finish.

In the men’s visually impaired 10 k, Stanislav Chokhlaev racing for Neutral athlete, won in a time of 22:33.5 and finishing 20.4 seconds ahead of Sweden’s Modin in second place. Aleksandr Artemov claimed the final podium spot in third (+24.4).

“It’s a good start to the season,” Modin said according to an IPC press release. . “I started slow and relaxed. I think I did that. I rose in the ranks through the whole race and had a good finish.”

American Adicoff raced to a fifth place finish (+31.0), while Canada’s Jesse Bachinsky placed 13th (+5:26.7).

Sunday results: Women 5/7.5 k | Men 7.5/10 k

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Day 3

After a day of rest on Monday, Dec. 11, athletes returned the race venue for a men’s and women’s distance cross-country event.

In the women’s sitting 12 k event, Germany’s Eskau once again held off Masters for the win, finishing in a time of 34:19.8.

“It was a very good victory,” Eskau said according to an IPC press release. “It was even a good time between me and second place. It was very comfortable.”

Skiing for the U.S., Masters finished second, 32.7 seconds behind Eskau. Yawei Jin of China claimed third, 1:35.0 seconds off of the winning time.  

“Today it went well,” Masters said according to an IPC press release. “I feel I’m right where I should be.”

Also skiing for the U.S. was Gretsch in eighth (+2:53.1).

The women’s standing 15 k race went to Rumyantseva of Neutral athlete in a time of 47:00.6. Canada’s Young finished 36.0 seconds back for second place, while Milenina of Neutral athlete finished third (+45.8).  

“I was hoping for a medal. I knew I could fight for third. I wasn’t expecting to finish much higher, but you never know. Anything can happen,”Young said according to a Cross Country Canada press release. “That was home field advantage today. I train on a lot of these hills so I know how they hurt.”

“That was a great performance today for Emily. We’ll take that,” Robin McKeever, the head coach for Canada’s Para-Nordic Ski Team said, according to a Cross Country Canada press release. “She’s only been in our program for two years, and is able to be on the podium and beat a multiple World Champion today by 10 seconds. That is a huge thing for her, and a great confidence boost for our program.”

Also competing for Canada was Wilke in fourth (+1:18.4) and Bilodeau in eighth (+26:23.9).

Neutral athlete Remizova won the women’s visually impaired 15 k, clocking in at 46:51.2. Finishing 50.2 seconds behind her was Neutral athlete Lysova in second, followed by another Neutral athlete skier, Marina Galitsyna in third (+1:29.7 4). Skiing for the U.S. was Zutter in fifth (+11:52.6).

In the men’s 15 k sitting event, Neutral athlete Golubkov claimed first in a time of 38:38.5. China’s Zheng finished second (+1:26.9) and Neutral athlete Davidovich in third (+1:21.5). Cnossen of the U.S. finished just off the podium in fourth (+1:49.6), and his American teammate Soule placed sixth (+2:18.2). Also competing for the U.S. was Halsted in 18th (+5:53.0), Wagner in 21st (+7:00.4), Price in 23rd (+7:27.2) and Frazier in 30th (+15:49.1).

Klebl led the Canadians in seventh (+2:34.3), followed by Cameron in 14th (+4:39.0), Fortier in 17th (+5:49.0), Hess in 26th (+9:18.6), and Bourque in 28th (+11:05.2).

In the men’s 20 k standing event, Neutral athlete Minnegulov won in a time of 52:21.7. Neutral athlete Vladislav Lekomtsev nabbed second (+47.3 5) and Neutral athlete Mikhail Tukmachev third (+1:41.3). Canadian Andy was the only North American in the event, placing 18th (+19:22.6).

Winning the men’s 20 k visually impaired event was Neutral athlete Ponomarev after clocking in in a time of 51:25.9. Chokhlaev finished second (+1:41.6) and Sweden’s Modin third (+2:08.3).

Canada’s Bachinsky was the only North American in the event and placed eighth (+17:27.0).

Results: Women’s 12/15k | Men’s 15/20 k

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IPC World Cup: Canmore (Biathlon)

Day 4

With the conclusion of the cross-country competitions on Monday, Dec. 11, athletes competing in the opening IPC races in Canmore turned their attention to biathlon.

The first event took place Thursday, Dec. 14, three days after the last cross-country race, and included a distance biathlon event for both genders.

After missing first in her favoured cross-country events–she claimed two second place finishes and was disqualified from the sprint for a false start–Oksana Masters, skiing for the U.S., redeemed herself and raced to a first place finish in the women’s sitting 12.5-kilometer biathlon race.

Masters won the race in a time of 46:00.9 after two misses (0+1+0+1).

“It feels absolutely shocking to be on top of the podium in a biathlon race,” Masters said according to an IPC press release. “All the best shooters and skiers are here. To be in the mix and giving them a run for their money is shocking to me. I am so used to chasing them and trying to hang on with them. They are my motivation.”

Marta Zainullina skiing Neutral athlete, finished in second place, clocking in at 48:07.0 after three missed shots (1+2+0+0). Irina Guliava, also Neutral athlete, completed the course in a time of48:09.9 with one miss (0+0+1+0) for third place.

Kendall Gretsch, also racing for the U.S., finished the day in eighth in a time of 53:01.6 after five misses (2+1+0+2).

In the women’s standing 12.5 k biathlon event, first and second went to two Neutral athlete athletes, Ekaterina Rumyantseva taking the win in a time of 37:06.3 after just one miss (0+0+1+0) and Anna Milenina finishing in second in a time of 38:11.2 after two misses (1+0+0+1).

After shooting clean, Canada’s Brittany Hudak snuck onto the podium, placing third after covering the course in a time of 40:54.1. Hudak was the lone North American to compete in the event.

“It’s nice for the third race to have a podium finish,” Hudak said according to an IPC press release. “It solidifies my trust in the process.”

“I need to be a little more efficient on the skis,” she continued. “It’s a balance between keeping the tempo and the glide. When I tried to focus on the long glide, I really wasn’t gliding that well. I think fine tuning ski efficiency is key.”

Taking the women’s visually impaired 12.5 k was Mikhalina Lysova, a Neutral athlete athlete, clocking in in a time of 38:34.7 after missing just one shot (1+0+0+0).

Afrer missing two shots (1+1+0+0), Germany’s Clara Klug placed second in a time of 42:20.3.

The third and final podium spot went to Marina Galitsyna, who covered the course in a time of 42:34.1 after four missed shots (2+0+1+1).

In the men’s sitting 15 k biathlon distance event, Neutral athlete athlete, Ivan Golubkov took first in a time of 43:25.2 with a total of two misses (0+0+1+1). Another neutral athlete, Roman Petushkov claimed second after shooting 100 percent and covering the course in a time of 44:51.0. South Korea’s Eui Hyun Sin earned the final podium spot, clocking in in a time of 45:30.8 with one miss (1+0+0+0) for third.

Racing for the U.S. was Daniel Cnossen, who covered the course in a time of 48:00.6 after three misses (1+0+1+1) and finishing fifth.

Canada’s Derek Zaplotinsky was the next North American finisher in 11th, clocking in in a time of 51:39.2 after missing three shots (1+1+1+0).

American Aaron Pike finsihed with six misses 2+2+1+1 and raced to a 12th place finish in a time of 51:47.4. Another U.S. competitor, Sean Halsted, placed 13th, completing the course in a time of  53:13.8, also with six misses (2+1+2+1).

Two more Americans raced in the sitting event, with Bryan Price finishing in a time of 55:20.9 with six misses 1+3+1+1 for 16th and Andy Soule placing 19th in a time of 1:01:01.7 after 14 missed shots (2+4+5+3).

In the men’s standing 15 k biathlon event, France’s Benjamin Daviet emerged victorius after shooting clean and covering the course in a time of 35:46.3. Also shooting 100 percent was Canada’s Mark Arendz, who placed second in a time of 36:56.7.

“It was a good race, but there was room for sharpening being the first Para-biathlon race of the year,” Arendz said according to a Cross Country Canada press release.“I died a little more than I hoped towards the end, but overall it was consistent.”

“Some of the Neutrals are here that I haven’t seen in a couple of years and I know they are really good athletes so it was good to see where I stood today,” Arendz added. “I was feeling good enough in the range, but I can push a little more there.”

Yet another clean shot was neutral athlete, Aleksandr Pronkov, who claimed third in a time of 37:04.0.

Two other Canadians participated in Thursday’s standing biathlon event, with Jesse Ehman finishing 15th in a time of 54:22.3 after six misses (1+2+1+1) and Kyle Barber placing 18th in a time of 1:04:07.3 after 16 missed shots (5+5+4+2).

In the men’s visually impaired 15 k biathlon event, all three top spots went to neutral athletes, with Stanislav Chokhlaev claiming first, Nikolai Polukhin second, and Aleksandr Artemov third.  Chokhlaev shot clean and covered the course in a time of 35:54.4, while Polukhin finished in a time of 39:00.3 after missing just one shot (1+0+0+0). After two misses (2+2+0+0), Artemov placed third in a time of 44:08.6.

No North Americans competed in Thursday’s visually impaired biathlon race.

Results: Women 12.5 k | Men’s 15 k

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Day 5

Once again, the U.S.’s Masters landing atop the biathlon podium, finishing first in the women’s 6 k biathlon sprint, despite an equiptment malfunction: a screw came loose and fell off of her sit ski during the first lap.

“I lost a screw, so it wasn’t attached to my frame, which is a blessing in disguise cause then I learned to ski more gracefully around the corners instead of just jagged,” Masters said according to an IPC press release. “That was why it was even more important to just stay in my race and focus on me and not what the result was.”

In spite of the broken sit ski, Masters crossed first in a time of 21:53.3 with two misses (1+1).

“I’m speechless,” Masters continued. “I don’t know what to say, it’s so surprising. Biathlon is not my forte, so to have it here flip-flopped and do better in biathlon than cross-country is nice.”

Also a competitor in cycling at the Rio 2016 Paralympics Games, Masters is taking this season to focus more fully on skiing.

“I skipped out on the competitive cycling season to make sure my peak is perfect for PyeongChang. I’m really chasing that gold medal for team USA,” Masters said. “Knowing I’m getting faster and faster as the races go on [in Canmore] is a good boost of confidence.”

Neutral athletes, Zainullina and Guliava, crossed in second and third respectively. Both shot 100 percent, with Zainullina covering the course in a time of 22:00.4 and Guliava clocking in at 22:31.5.

American Gretsch missed two shots (1+1) and ended the day in fifth in a time of 23:33.3.

All three top spots in the women’s standing biathlon 6 k sprint went to neutral athletes, with Rumyantseva winning in a time of 16:44.4 after one missed shot  (1+0), and Milenina crossing second in a time of 16:51.1, also with one missed shot (0+1), and Natalia Bratiuk crossing third in a time of 18:07.8 after shooting clean.

Canada’s Emily Young finished just off the podium in fourth, clocking in at 18:20.5 after one miss (0+1).

“I don’t race biathlon too much so I can’t complain here today,” Young said according to a Cross Country Canada press release. “I tried to ski hard and come into the range hot. I have confidence in my ski ability. I know I can push, but it’s always a different morning before a biathlon. My nerves are even higher than in cross-country because there is just more that can go wrong.”

“I skied well and everything went well except for the last shot,” Young continued. “I was able to push hard on the last couple laps. It didn’t feel like I even skied the penalty lap. I was out of there before it started. It’s all learning experiences. You miss one. It happens.”

Her Canadian teammate, Hudak, crossed fifth in a time of 18:33.7 after shooting 100 percent.

“I was really happy with my shooting in the range today,” Hudak said according to a Cross Country Canada press release. “I wanted to see how hard I could go, and maintain that speed for the race. Shooting went really well, but I feel some fatigue in the legs.”

“I am known for starting races on the conservative side,” Hudak added. “Sometimes it takes me a while to build on, but the body is starting to get tired. You never know [how you will feel] until you go. You gotta know your strengths and weaknesses. This past year, shooting has been a strength, so we’ll run with that.”

The women’s standing biathlon 6 k sprint went to neutral athlete Lysova in a time of 17:23.8 after she shot clean. Also shooting 100 percent was Germany’s Vivian Hosch in second in a time of 19:04.2.

“Shooting was good, racing was good,” Hosch said, according to an IPC press release. “The long [distance 12.5 k] biathlon started well, but I missed two targets. Today I shot clean. Now it’s clear, it’s a qualie for PyeongChang.”

With three misses (0+3) in third, was another German athlete, Klug, who clocked in at 19:48.5.

““I need to clean up the shooting,” Klug said, according to an IPC press release, after the sprint. “I owe [my guide Martin Hartl] 30 bucks for missed shots. That’s way too expensive for me. I have to get back to my normal conditions and concentrate in the shooting range. I’m not too sure how to do this yet, but I’ll figure it out.”

Racing for the U.S., Mia Zutter placed seventh in a time of 25:43.1 after five missed shots (2+3), while Canada’s Maya Jonas placed ninth in a time of 37:45.8 after five misses (1+4).

Netrual athlete Golubkov won the men’s sitting 7.5 k biathlon sprint in a time of 22:25.1 after one miss (1+0). Sin of South Korea crossed in a time of 23:22.3 after shooting clean for second, while Neutral athlete skier Aleksandr Davidovich crossed in a time of 23:31.7 with one miss (0+1) for third.

For the North Americans, the U.S.’s Cnossen was the top male finisher, placing seventh in a time of 24:23.3 after two misses (0+2). Canada’s Collin Cameron finished one place behind Cnossen in eighth, covering the course in a time of 24:29.8 after one missed shot (0+1).

American Pike placed 10th, missing three shots 2+1 and clocking in at 24:51.1. The U.S.’s Halsted finished in 15th in a time of 26:15.6 with three misses (1+2), while his teammate, Price placed 16th in a time of 26:27.9 after one miss (0+1).

Canada’s Zaplotinsky finished 17th after covering the course in a time of 26:36.6 with three misses (1+2) and American Soule placed 18th, finishing in a time of 27:01.2 with seven misses (3+4).

American Jeremy Wagner finished in a time of 27:28.8 with three misses (2+1) for 20th, while Canadian Sebastien Fortier raced to 22nd in a time of 28:05.1 after missing five shots (4+1).

The men’s standing 7.5 k biathlon sprint went to France’s Daviet, who crossed in a time of 17:00.8 for the win after shooting clean. Neutral athlete Vladislav Lekomtsev finished second in a time of 18:01.1 after two misses, while Aleksandr Pronkov, also a Neutral athlete skier, shot clean and finished third in a time of 18:03.3.

Canada’s Arendz finished just off the podium in fourth, crossing in a time of 18:07.8 after shooting 100 percent.

Two other Canadians partook in Saturday’s standing biathlon sprint, with Barber placing 17th in a time of 24:53.4 with four misses (2+2) and Ehman placing 18th in a time of 25:26.3 after two missed shots (1+1).

In the men’s visually impaired 7.5 k biathlon sprint, neutral athletes Chokhlaev, Nikita Povarov, and Artemov comprised the men’s podium, with Chokhlaev claiming first in a time of 17:26.6 after shooting clean.

Povarov placed second in a time of 18:52.7 after also shooting 100 percent, and Artemov finished third in a time of 19:03.0 also with perfect shooting.

Results: Women’s biathlon sprint | Men’s biathlon sprint

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Day 6

Masters of the U.S. was crowned the biathlon queen in Canmore, taking the third and final women’s sitting event, a 10 k biathlon pursuit. Masters covered the course in a time of 41:02.3 with seven missed shots (1+2+2+2).

“I definitely started sweating when I started missing more than I wanted to. But I had great skis,” Masters said according to an IPC press release. “Every time I missed on the range, I had a little more motivation to let it out on snow. It worked out.”

Behind Masters in second was Guliava, a neutral athlete, who missed two shots (0+0+1+1) and finished in a time of 41:42.3. Third went to Zainullina, also neutral, in a time of 41:57.6 after five misses (1+1+1+2).

Competing for the U.S., Gretsch finished in eighth in a time of 47:58.9 after ten missed shots (2+3+5+0).

In the women’s standing 10 k pursuit, neutral athlete Rumyantseva took the win in a time of 35:06.5 with six misses (1+1+2+2). Another neutral athlete, Milenina, claimed second, finishing in a time of 37:43.3 after missing eight shots (2+1+4+1). Canada’s Young snagged the final podium spot, finishing third in a time of 38:02.4 after two misses (0+1+1+0).

“I’m happy it’s done. The stress is over. I don’t have to shoot anymore,” Young said, according to a Cross Country Canada press release. “Overall it was pretty good. I had to ski hard to make up for the couple I missed, but it’s good practice to have to sprint in a longer distance race.”

“I haven’t raced that many biathlon races,” Young continued. “My focus has been on cross country so it’s just range procedure and learning how to shoot clean in a race situation,” added Young. “Overall I was happy with the shooting. I executed it as well as I could, and then skied my butt off in the penalty lap a couple times.”

Young’s Canadian teammate, Hudak placed fourth in a time of 39:28.6 after one miss (1+0+0+0).

“I just wanted to ski fast and try to stay focused on my own race,” Hudak said, according to a Cross Country Canada press release. “It gets a little distracting when you’re trying to catch the people ahead of you, but you know the people behind you are catching you, and your thoughts can kind of skew away from what your process is and what your race plan is.

“You have to remain within your own limits,” Hudak added. “You can’t ski too fast and then completely miss everything in the range, so you have to just stay focused on your race plan…There comes a time when you have to realize how far you’ve come. I haven’t been skiing all that long. My technique was really bad not that long ago, so it’s come along way. It is a good start to the season specially to end on a positive note.”

The women’s visually impaired pursuit went to neutral athlete, Lysova, who missed one shot (1+0+0+0) and clocked in in a time of 35:00.7. Elena Remizova, also a neutral athlete, took second, covering the course in a time of 39:06.3 with six misses (0+1+3+2).

Germany’s Hosch took the final podium spot, clocking in in a time of 40:28.8 after two misses (1+0+0+1) for third.

The men’s sitting 12.5 k biathlon pursuit went to Golubkov in a time of 42:55.2 after six misses (3+1+1+1). Earning second and his first podium finish of the season was Cnossen of the U.S. in second place. Cnossen shot 100 percent and covered the course in a time of 44:30.1.

“Today’s race was much better than the other two,” Cnossen said, according to an IPC press release. “I was configured to start a little further back today, so I didn’t put a lot of pressure on myself. I tried to relax and take each step as it came.”

Third place went to Sin of South Korea, who missed two shots (2+0+0+0) and clocked in at 44:39.3.

Also competing for the U.S., was Pike in eighth in a time of 47:46.5 with three misses (0+1+1+1), Soule in 11th in a time of 52:21.6 with eight missed shots (2+1+3+2), Price in 15th in a time of 54:35.4 with four misses (0+3+1+0), and Wagner in 17th in a time of 57:23.4 with seven missed shots (2+2+1+2).

Leading the Canadians was Cameron in ninth in a time of 47:50.2 with three misses (0+0+2+1), followed by Zaplotinsky in 13th in a time of 52:41.0 with three misses (1+1+1+0), and Fortier in 19th in a time of 1:00:28.9 after 11 missed shots (4+4+3+0).

The men’s standing biathlon pursuit went to France’s Daviet, who missed two shots (0+1+0+1) and covered the course in a time of 34:19.3.

Neutral athlete Vladislav Lekomtsev, earned second in a time of 35:51.5 after missing two shots (0+1+0+1). Norwegian Nils-Erik Ulset claimed the third and final spot, clocking in in a time of 36:07.5 after shooting 100 percent.

Canada’s Arendz finished fifth, covering the course in a time of 36:45.1 after two misses (0+1+1+0).

“I think just a little fatigued on the range mentally,” Arendz said according to a Cross Country Canada press release. “The first loop and last loop were really good, it’s just that the two middle ones with the misses there – that hurt. I think I would’ve been in the running for the podium without those two misses, so I’m happy with that. It’s a long week overall, so it’s good to wrap it up,”

The men’s visually impaired biathlon event once again went to neutral athlete Chokhlaev, who clocked in in a time of 36:17.3 after two misses (1+1+0+0).

In second was another neutral athlete, Nikola Polukhin, who completed the course in a time of 39:53.4 with two missed shots (1+0+0+1). Artemov claimed third in a time of 40:06.1 with one miss (f 0+1+0+0).

Results

— Gabby Naranja

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