Russia pick up nine biathlon medals on Day 108.03.2014
Roman Petushkov and Mikhalina Lysova both stormed to gold in their opening events at the Laura Cross-Country and Biathlon Centre.
Roman Petushkov and Mikhalina Lysova both stormed to gold in their opening events at the Laura Cross-Country and Biathlon Centre.
"I dedicate this medal to my mother and my family. I give my thanks to my mother for caring for me when I was in the hospital."
Roman Petushkov kick-started a dominant day for the Russian team on Saturday (8 March), as they collected nine medals in the biathlon competition to open the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
Petushkov, Alena Kaufman, Mikhalina Lysova and Vladislav Lekomtcev all won gold as Russia dominated the top of the podium. The rest of the Russian total was made up of four silvers and a bronze medal.
Petushkov claimed his first ever Paralympic gold medal with a flawless performance in the men’s 7.5km sitting event. He did not miss a single shot at the range and crossed the line in 21:03.7, eight seconds ahead of Ukraine’s silver medallist Maksym Yarovyi. Japan’s Kozo Kubo finished in 21:45.6 to collect the bronze medal.
Petushkov lost his legs in a car accident back in 2006 and decided to dedicate his very special win to his mother on International Women’s Day.
"I dedicate this medal to my mother and my family. I give my thanks to my mother for caring for me when I was in the hospital,” Petushkov said.
In the women’s 6km standing event, Kaufman and Anna Milenina provided the host nation with its first one-two finish. Kaufman finished in 18:27.2 with her compatriot Melinina reaching the end of the course 30 seconds later after missing two of her shots on the range.
Ukraine’s two-time Paralympian Iuliia Batenkova added a fifth bronze medal to take her total Paralympic tally to 10 medals.
"Third place is normal for me, but today is just the first day of competition which is for warming up for the bigger races,” Batenkova said.
Russia also claimed a one-two finish in the women’s 6km visually impaired biathlon through world champion Lysova and Iuliia Budaleeva. Ukraine’s Oksana Shyshkova stopped any chance of a Russian sweep as she beat Elena Remizova for third place.
Lysova was almost two minutes ahead at the 4km stage, allowing her to finish in first place without any pressure. She finished the course with guide Alexey Ivanov in 20:03.2. Budaleeva and her guide Tatiana Maltseva followed in 20:31.7. Shyshkova finished almost 20 seconds (20:49.0) behind.
Another Russian, Nikolay Polukhin, began his quest to better his tally of six medals from the Vancouver 2010 Games by claiming a silver in the men’s 7.5km visually impaired biathlon.
He was beaten by Ukrainian Vitaliy Lukyanenko who crossed the line in a time of 20:18.8. Polukhin and his guide Andrey Tokarev followed 10 seconds later with Vasili Shaptsiaboi from Belarus claiming the bronze.
In the women’s 6km sitting event, Germany’s Andrea Eskau joined a unique list of summer and winter Paralympic gold medallists.
The 42-year-old, who also won two gold medals in handcycling at London 2012, led all the way along the course to finish in an impressive time of 19:12.4 and earn her first Winter Paralympic gold.
Russia’s Svetlana Konovalova followed Eskau in 19:31.1, while Ukraine’s Vancouver 2010 gold medallist Olena Iurkovska finished eight seconds (19:39.6) behind for a bronze medal
“I want to win another gold tomorrow,” Eskau said after the race.
Reigning world champion Mark Arendz from Canada had to settle for silver in the men’s 7.5km standing biathlon, as the 23-year-old watched Russia’s Vladislav Lekomtcev cross the line for gold in 19:13.7.
Nonetheless, Arendz managed to drive himself home in 19:14.4 with Russian Azat Karachurin finishing 0.5 seconds later for bronze.
The first day of action includes, Jon Santacana Maiztegui, Nikolay Polukhin and Seung-Hwan Jung.
The men’s 7.5km visually impaired event will draw the most appeal, as Russia’s Nikolay Polukhin is the two-time defending world champion in the event won six medals in Nordic skiing at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympics.
Start your day off by tuning into the men’s and women’s downhill races across all classes. In particular, fans are eager to see if Spain’s visually impaired skier Jon Santacana Maiztegui can come back from an Achilles tendon injury that has sidelined him for the last six months. He is hoping to win his second consecutive gold in the event, as he goes up against Italy’s Alessandro Daldoss, who just won the 2013-14 IPC Alpine Skiing men’s overall title for the season. France’s Marie Bochet, Great Britain’s Kelly Gallagher and the USA’s Alana Nichols will be top athletes to watch on the women’s side.
Tune into the first day of the biathlon competition, where host nation Russia are hoping to rack up the medals. The men’s 7.5km visually impaired event will draw the most appeal, as Russia’s Nikolay Polukhin is the two-time defending world champion in the event won six medals in Nordic skiing at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympics. Men’s sit skier Roman Petushkov and women’s visually impaired skier Mikhalina Lysova will make their first Sochi 2014 appearance for the host nation as well.
The day finishes with two of the world’s most-improved ice sledge hockey teams taking to the ice at 20:00 (MSK), as host nation Russia faces South Korea. Russia won bronze at the last World Championships after just starting up a team a little more than four years ago, while Korea won the 2013 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey Qualification Tournament last weekend. Two top forwards will be on display in this game in Russia’s Dmitry Lisov and South Korea’s Seung-Hwan Jung.
Top Russian skiers Roman Petushkov and Mikhalina Lysova will highlight the first day of the biathlon competition.
The Russians will be hoping to repeat their table-topping success from the Vancouver 2010 Games, as they collected five gold medals in an impressive total of 16 medals.
Russia will look to climb to the top of the medals table early on the first day of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games on Saturday (8 March) as they field top talent in biathlon competition.
The host nation’s biathlon team includes world champions Nikolay Polukhin, Roman Petushkov and Mikhalina Lysova.
The Russians will be hoping to repeat their table-topping success from the Vancouver 2010 Games - they they collected five gold medals and an impressive total of 16 medals in the sport - when the biathlon events will begin at 10:00 (MSK) at the Laura Biathlon and Cross-Country Skiing Centre.
The Russian team will be led by visually impaired skier Polukhin, who won the most medals by any athlete on his Paralympic debut at Vancouver 2010. The 32-year-old prevailed with a triumphant haul of six medals including one gold, four silvers and one bronze.
Currently, he is the reigning world champion and ranked as the best athlete in his field, meaning he will hope to add to his remarkable tally on home snow.
However, Ukraine’s Anatolli Kovalevskyi will be tough to beat when they meet in the men’s 7.5km visually impaired race at 13:44 (MSK).
Petushkov, meanwhile, was crowned the 2013-14 IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup winner in men’s sitting class earlier this year, but has yet to claim his first Paralympic gold. After losing both his legs in 2006, four years later he captured a silver medal in cross-country skiing and a bronze medal in biathlon at his Paralympic debut in 2010.
But winning his first Paralympic gold will not be an easy task as he faces tough competition from Japan’s Kozo Kubo and compatriot Grigory Murygin.
Kubo attained five podium finishes to rise to the top of the world rankings in the sitting class while Murygin, at just 18, collected a gold, silver and a bronze at the 2013 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships for Russia.
However, if Petushkov and Murygin get their tactics right, they could provide Russia with their first one-two finish in the men’s 7.5km sitting event, starting at around 10:25 (MSK).
In the men’s 7.5km standing event, Canada’s Mark Arendz will be hoping to add a Paralympic gold to the world title he won in 2013.
The 23-year-old will fight for gold against Russia’s Azat Karachurin and 19-year-old Ihor Reptyukh from Ukraine.
In the women’s 6km events, the Russian team also have a chance of their first sweep on the Paralympic podium.
Lysova, Luliia Budaleeva and Elena Remizova are ranked as the top three athletes in the women’s 6km visually impaired world rankings.
Lysova is the most likely to climb on to the top spot of the podium after being crowned the world champion in biathlon and cross-country skiing last year. She also has five Paralympic medals to her name from Vancouver 2010.
The Russian team may look set to run the show but the Ukrainians won’t let their rivals take a majority of the medals without putting up a fight.
Ukraine’s best hopes of getting a gold medal on Day 1 are through two women - Luliia Batenkova and Olena Lurkovska. They are both top in their classes and have competed at the last two Paralympic Winter Games.
At the Vancouver 2010 Games, Lurkovska added two more gold medals to the first gold medal she won at the 2006 Games. She competes in the women’s 6km sitting class, which is the first event of day one at around 10:00 (MSK).
On the other hand, Batenkova has yet to win a gold medal after collecting a combined total of five silver and four bronze medals from the last two Games.
Her event in the women’s 6km standing class will start at 12:00 (MSK).
Over the next nine days, 547 athletes from 45 countries will compete at the first Paralympic Winter Games ever held in Russia.
“Together you are the catalysts for change. United as one, you have the ability to change perceptions and alter attitudes like no other. You arrive here as the best prepared athletes ever to attend a Paralympic Winter Games. You will leave as role models, heroes, pioneers and most of all, Proud Paralympians.”
The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games began with a stunning Opening Ceremony on Friday evening (7 March) at Fisht Stadium with a volunteer cast of more than 2,500 people from the Krasnodar region of Russia taking centre stage, and two-time Paralympic champion swimmer Olesya Vladykina and six-time Paralympic champion cross-country skier Sergey Shilov lighting the Paralympic cauldron.
With a theme of “Breaking The Ice,” the Opening Ceremony evoked the spirit of Russia and the importance of breaking down barriers and stereotypes faced by people around the world every day.
During his Opening Ceremony speech, IPC President Sir Philip Craven said: “Thirty-four years ago when the old Soviet Union declined the opportunity to stage the 1980 Paralympic Games in Moscow, the prospect of Russia staging its first Paralympic Games was nothing but a dream.
“But dreams do come true, and since winning the Games seven years ago, this part of Russia has undergone a monumental transformation. However, the biggest transformation for this country is still yet to come.
“In the same way that the city of Sochi has built a barrier free environment for athletes and officials to enjoy, I call upon all those who experience these Games to have barrier free minds, too.”
The Opening Ceremony began with 126 performers – dressed in red, white and blue – marching in perfectly synchronised formations to create dazzling patterns on the field of play and create a human wave of the Russian national flag.
The actual flag was then carried into the centre of the stadium by eight people who have been instrumental in improving the lives of people with an impairment in Russia. The Pan-Russian Choir sang a captivating a cappella version of the Russian national anthem.
Andree-Anne Gingras-Roy then played a glass organ that rose from underneath the stadium before 504 young ballerinas grace the stage to create patterns of snowflakes before forming the Paralympic Torch.
Athletes competing paraded through the central ramp of the stadium, with woodland magic creatures and spirit birds guiding them to their seating area.
Over the next nine days, these 547 athletes will compete for 72 sets of medals across five sports in what will be the first ever Paralympic Winter Games held in Russia.
With 55 countries broadcast the Sochi 2014 Paralympics and Paralympic.org live streaming more than 300 hours of HD coverage, the Games are expected to break all viewing records and top athletes will become household names around the world.
Sir Philip addressed the athletes, saying: “You have here superb sporting venues to express your amazing talents and live up to the Paralympic values of determination and courage, inspiration and equality.
“Together you are the catalysts for change. United as one, you have the ability to change perceptions and alter attitudes like no other.
“You arrive here as the best prepared athletes ever to attend a Paralympic Winter Games.
“You will leave as role models, heroes, pioneers and most of all, Proud Paralympians.”
Dmitriy Chernyshenko, President and CEO of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee, said: “Thanks to the Paralympic Games, a new era in the history of Russia has begun, one without barriers and stereotypes. The Paralympic Games have changed us; they have changed our attitude to those close to us and ourselves. Together, we are learning to be more considerate and attentive to each other.”
After the Paralympic Flag entered the stadium and the Paralympic Agitos was created by 126 performers, the Athletes’ Oath was taken by Russian world champion alpine skier Valeriy Redkozubov, the Officials’ Oath by skiing judge Elena Mokerova and the Coaches’ Oath by Russian alpine skiing head coach Alexander Nazarov.
Pop singer Yulia Samoylova entertained the crowd with their stunning vocals later on in the evening, as 300 ice fisherman painted patterns across the stage. IPC Honorary Board member and opera singer Maria Guleghina sang to the audience on a giant ship as passed through the entire stadium, signifying breaking down barriers and tracing new paths for mankind.
The Ceremony culminated with a cast of more than 1,000 torchbearers celebrating the arrival of the Paralympic Torch in the stadium before it was lit by Vladykina and Shilov, and a spectacular fireworks display erupted across the Olympic Park.
The 2013 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships are taking place in Solleftea, Sweden, from 25 February to 5 March.
“I am confident that many athletes will be using these Championships to check where they are at with their own preparations for next year, whilst keeping a close eye on the performances of their competitors."
The 2013 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships were opened in Solleftea, Sweden, on Sunday (24 February) with a colourful ceremony.
From 25 February to 5 March, more than 150 athletes from 15 countries will compete for podium places in cross-country skiing and biathlon events just one year before the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games take place.
Rita van Driel, IPC Governing Board member, said: “In just over one year’s time most of us will be getting ready for the next Paralympic Winter Games.
“I am confident that many athletes will be using these Championships to check where they are at with their own preparations for next year, whilst keeping a close eye on the performances of their competitors.
“Since the 2011 World Championships in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia, a number of great rivalries have developed on the nordic skiing circuit and I expect these to take centre stage here this week.
“I’m also delighted at some of the new young talent emerging and believe some of them will surprise us here in Solleftea by coming out of nowhere to win a medal or even a world title.”
One of the rivalries to look out for is between two Russian sit-skiers. Multiple Paralympic and world champion Irek Zaripov will be challenged by his compatriot Roman Petushkov, as he tries to defend his gold medals from the last World Championships.
All events from the Championships will be streamed live on the IPC’s YouTube channel, www.YouTube.com/ParalympicSportTV.
For more information on the 2013 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships, please visit the event website at www.ipcnordicskiingworlds.org.
Find out what will be the best athlete rivalries to watch across all Paralympic sports from 7-16 March.
There will be 547 athletes from 45 countries competing at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
Anna Schaffelhuber (Germany) – Claudia Loesch (Austria)
The two will be battling all week long the slopes for the top spot on the podium in the women’s sitting class. Schaffelhuber has dominated the 2013-14 IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup circuit, but is still in search of her first Paralympic title. Loesch, despite coming in second and third most of this season, has two Paralympic titles to her name and won three events at the 2013 World Championships.
Marie Bochet (France) – Andrea Rothfuss (Germany)
While everyone will be looking to upset favoured six-time world champion Bochet in the women’s standing class, it is Rothfuss who has the best chance. The German enters her third Paralympics having won five Paralympic medals. Bochet, only 20, is entering the prime of her career after winning this season’s women’s overall World Cup title.
Aleksandra Frantceva (Russia) – Henrieta Farkasova (Slovakia)
These two women’s visually impaired skiers have been pushing each other to go faster on the slopes over the last Paralympic cycle. At the 2013 World Championships, Frantceva picked up three golds, with Farkasova notching two titles. Both are entering their second Paralympics expecting to be the top contender in their class.
Matthias Lanzinger (Austria) – Markus Salcher (Austria)
What is better than two rivals from the same country? The two standing skiers are both expected to make multiple appearances on the podium in Sochi, with many looking ahead to their super-G race on Sunday (9 March). Lanzinger is a former big-name able-bodied skier, while Salcher is a graduate of the IPC’s 2006 development and a two-time IPC Alpine Skiing world champion.
Brian McKeever (Canada) – Nikolay Polukhin (Russia)
McKeever is a five-time Paralympic champion and Polukhin has two Paralympic titles to his name, and the two men’s visually impaired cross-country skiers are expected to go head-to-head right up to the finish in Sochi. The Canadian was unbeatable at his home Games in 2010 in Vancouver, taking gold in the 1km sprint, as well as the 10km and 20km events.
Kozo Kubo (Japan) – Roman Petushkov (Russia)
This has been one of the fastest growing rivalries over the last Paralympic cycle, with Petushkov entering Sochi 2014 as the man to beat on the Nordic skiing trails and Kubo one of the sport’s rising stars. Petushkov, a five-time world champion still in search of his first Paralympic gold, won both the cross-country skiing and biathlon overall titles at the 2013-14 IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup.
Evan Strong (USA) – Mike Shea (USA)
Many are expecting an All-American rivalry in the men’s competition when snowboard makes its Paralympic debut on 14 March at the Rosa Kuhtor Alpine Centre. Strong has been consistently ranked No. 1 in the world, but Shea is coming off a season where he finished as the 2013-14 IPCAS Snowboard World Cup overall winner.
Ice sledge hockey
If these two teams meet in the medal round at Sochi 2014, it will be the grudge match of all grudge matches. The USA, led by goaltender Steve Cash and forward Josh Pauls, are trying to defend their Paralympic title. Canada, powered by top scorers Greg Westlake and Brad Bowden, are the reigning world champions going for gold after failing to medal at Vancouver 2010 despite high expectations.
As the first two countries to have ice sledge hockey teams, these nations have some of the most stories programmes in the record books. Look for Sweden’s budding young star Per Kasperi to challenge Norway’s veteran defenceman Rolf Pedersen on the ice when they face off on Tuesday (11 March).
These two teams finished one-two at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympics and both expected to be in the medal hunt in Sochi. Canada are led by their flag bearer Sonja Gaudet and Sweden are anchored by skip Jalle Jungnell, both included on the IPC’s Ones to Watch list for the Games. They will face off against each other on Monday (10 March).
Iran is looking to win the first medal at Paralympic Winter Games
- Iran have yet to win a medal at the Paralympic Winter Games.
- Iran’s best result at the Paralympic Winter Games is a 34th-place finish for Sadegh Kalhor in the alpine skiing men's slalom event at the Vancouver 2010 Games.
- Kalhor competed in the Winter Paralympics in 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010. The only other Iranian at the Winter Games was Ramzanali Jeiroodi who competed in 1998. Both competed in alpine skiing.
- Iran have won 112 medals at the Summer Paralympic Games, including 47 golds.
- They have won most of their medals in athletics (71 total, 30 golds) and owerlifting (24 total, nine golds).
- Iran have won just one of their 47 Paralympic golds in a women's event. Archer Zahra Nemati won the women’s individual recruve W1/W2 in London in 2012.
- Iran won a record 24 medals for their country at the London 2012 Paralympics, including 10 golds. Iran have only won more gold medals in 2000 (12), when they won 23 total medals.
- Gader Modabber Raz has won five gold medals for Iran in athletics in the discus, shot put and javelin from 1996-2000. He also claimed one bronze medal for a total of six medals.
- Mokhtar Nourafshan has won an Iranian record of seven total medals, including four golds, all in athletics.
- Iran leads all countries in men's sitting volleyball medals, winning golds (five) or silvers (two) in each edition from 1988 to 2012.
Find out the top countries in Paralympic winter sport and their best medal hopes for the Sochi 2014 Games.
Norway have been around since the first Paralympic Winter Games in 1976 and have been a strong country in every sport, every year.
134 golds, 101 silvers, 80 bronze (315 total)
Norway have been around since the first Paralympic Winter Games in 1976 and have been a strong country in every sport, every year. In ice sledge hockey in Sochi, they will be led by defenceman Rolf Pedersen, who has medalled in every Paralympics since 2002 and is a force on the point for the Norwegians. They also have strong Nordic skiers in Nils Erik-Ulset and Mariann Marthinsen.
121 golds, 108 silvers, 101 bronze (330 total)
In Sochi, Germany will be home to two key alpine skiers in Andrea Rothfuss and Anna Schaffelhuber who will be aiming for gold at Sochi 2014. Rothfuss is coming into Sochi hot after four silvers in standing class at the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in downhill, slalom, giant slalom and super combined. Schaffelhuber won gold last year at the World Championships in the women’s slalom sitting and dominated the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup circuit this season.
102 golds, 108 silvers, 104 bronze (314 total)
Always known for being a dominant country on the slopes, Austria have a pair of athletes looking to impress at Rosa Khutor. Markus Salcher won downhill and super-G last year at the World Championships in the men’s standing class, while Claudia Loesch also won gold in giant slalom, super-G and super combined in the women’s sitting class.
96 golds, 97 silvers, 68 bronze
The USA have big medal aspirations in Sochi in both the costal village as well as in the mountains. Ice sledge hockey forward Josh Pauls and arguably the best goaltender in the world, Steve Cash, will look to lead the charge at Shayba Arena as they try to defend their Paralympic gold. Snowboarders Evan Strong and Amy Purdy will look to star when snowboard makes its Paralympic debut.
76 golds, 47 silvers, 59 bronze (182 total)
Finland’s medal haul will have to be a full team effort at Sochi 2014 if they look to improve from Vancouver 2010’s one silver and one bronze. At Torino 2006, they logged nine medals, and in Sochi they will field a wheelchair curling team for the first time, along with a star cast in Nordic skiing.
64 golds, 68 silvers, 44 bronze
The host country is always a favourite at any Paralympic Games. Russia was one gold shy of tying Germany at Vancouver 2010 for the most medals and overall finished with 38 which led all countries. The home team’s sport in Sochi will be Nordic skiing, as Roman Petushkov and Mikalina Lysova will anchor the squad in the men’s and women’s competitions, respectively. Dmitry Lisov will look to lead a potent ice sledge hockey team, while also in the costal village, skip Svetlana Pakhomova will be looking to find the podium after a fourth-place finish at the 2013 World Wheelchair Curling Championships.
49 golds, 55 silvers, 48 bronze (152 total)
Rosa Khutor is where Switzerland will have their best chance to improve on their medal totals. Last year at the World Championships, Michael Bruegger captured a silver in downhill and bronze in both giant slalom and super-G in the men’s standing class.
47 golds, 44 silvers, 48 bronze (139 total)
France are still hoping for more medals at Sochi 2014. They notched six at Vancouver 2010 and will be a threat at Rosa Khutor in alpine skiing with six-time world champion Marie Bochet and Opening Ceremony flag bearer Vincent Gauthier-Manuel. Since joining the world circuit, Bochet has been great, and at last year’s World Championships, she won gold in downhill, slalom, giant slalom, super combined and super-G in the women’s standing events.
36 golds, 41 silvers, 42 bronze
Canada are coming off a strong showing at their own Games at Vancouver 2010. This year in Sochi, their ice sledge hockey team led by Brad Bowden and Greg Westlake is ranked first after a win at the 2013 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships A-Pool. Canada’s flag bearer Sonja Gaudet will look for gold at the Ice Cube Curling Centre in wheelchair curling and at Rosa Khutor with Mark Arendz and Brian McKeever in cross-country skiing and biathlon.
25 golds, 30 silvers, 40 bronze (95 total)
Sweden will look to once again find the podium at Sochi 2014. They’ve received bronze medals in each of the last two Paralympics in wheelchair curling, much thanks to skip Jalle Jungnell. Last year at the World Championships, Sweden earned a silver medal.
*Denotes country which previously went under a different name.