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Cnossen Captures Silver in World Cup Finals Pursuit; Arendz Repeats with Bronze


Lt. Dan Cnossen on his way to silver in the men's biathlon 12.5 k sitting pursuit on Friday at IPC World Cup Finals in Surnadal, Norway. (Photo: U.S. Paralympics/Lediard Foto)

Lt. Dan Cnossen on his way to silver in the men’s biathlon 12.5 k sitting pursuit on Friday at IPC World Cup Finals in Surnadal, Norway. (Photo: U.S. Paralympics/Lediard Foto)

(Combined IPC/CCC/U.S. Paralympics press releases)

U.S. Paralympian and Navy SEAL Lt. Cmdr. Dan Cnossen cleaned three-straight stages then missed two shots to come away with silver on Day 3 of the 2015 IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup Finals on Friday in Surnadal, Norway.

Cnossen finished second in men’s biathlon 12.5-kilometer sitting pursuit to end up on the podium for the first time at World Cup Finals. The starting positions in biathlon pursuit are based on the participants’ finishes in the biathlon sprint, in which Cnossen finished sixth. He ended up 54.4 seconds behind Russia’s Alexey Bychenok, who won in 41:43.8.

“That was a really fun race,” Cnossen told U.S. Paralympics after the pursuit. “I was chasing people right out of the gate, and I came into the range with three people and every time that happened it helped me to keep my mind in the game. It was a great day!”

Also for the U.S., Andy Soule held onto his fourth-place position to finish 1:25.9 back from the winner with three penalties (2+0+1+0) and 23.5 seconds off the podium (after Dzmitry Loban of Belarus in third).  In the women’s biathlon 10 k sitting pursuit, Oksana Masters started and finished fifth, 4:48.9 behind German winner Anja Wicker (38:49.9).

One of two non-Russian winners on Friday, Wicker also won Wednesday’s sprint. She cleaned to stay ahead in the pursuit, 40.9 seconds ahead of runner-up Natalia Kocherova of Russia. Belarus’ Lidziya Hrafeyeva finished 3:04.2 back in third.

In the men’s 12.5 k standing, Canada’s Mark Arendz finished third for the second-straight race with three penalties (1+0+2+0). He ended up 1:12.1 behind Russia’s Vladislav Lekomtcev, who started first and won in 35:31.4 despite missing three shots. Ukraine’s Grygorii Vovchynskyi finished 26.8 seconds back in second with a single miss on the first stage.

“There was a lot of misses shooting today which highlighted the race,” Arendz said in a team press release. “It was a very tight race and many lead changes throughout the day. It was a great race for me, especially a strong finishing lap that moved me into podium position despite my difficulties shooting.”

In the women’s 10 k standing, Ukraine’s Liudmyla Liashenko upset teammate Oleksandra Kononova, who won all three biathlon titles at IPC World Championships earlier this year. Liashenko, 21, was the other non-Russian winner, tallying the victory in 30:40.1 with one penalty on the first shooting.

Kononova missed seven and finished second, 39.2 seconds back, and Japan’s Yurika Abe was 1:03.5 back in third.

With a win in the women’s 10 k visually impaired pursuit, Russia’s Iuliia Budaleeva, guided by Tatiana Maltseva, remains the lone athlete with an unbeaten streak at World Cup Finals.

Budaleeva topped the podium in 33:10.5, beating two Ukrainians, Olga Prylutska (guided by Borys Babar) and Oksana Shyshkova (guided by Lada Nesterenko) by 1 minute and 1:35, respectively.

The men’s 12.5 k visually impaired pursuit saw the same three podium finishers as Wednesday’s sprint, but with the first and third swapping places.

Russia’s Nikolay Polukhin and guide Andrey Tokarev took the win in 39:22.9, nearly 42 seconds ahead of Ukraine’s Anatolii Kovalevski and guide Oleksandr Mukshyn, who again finished second. Both athletes missed a single shot. Wednesday’s winners Stanislav Chokhlaev and guide Evgenii Fatkhullin ended up third, 1:06 back.

IPC World Cup Finals continue through Sunday.

Results: Men | Women

Complete schedule/results

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