Russia's Roman Peutshkov poses with his six gold medals from the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. © • Getty Images
2013 – Solleftea, Sweden
In the last major international competition before the next Paralympic Winter Games, 156 athletes from 17 countries arrived in the Hallstaberget ski venue to lay down their best performances just under one year away from Sochi 2014.
Russia were the dominant force of the Championships, winning a total of 56 medals, 22 of which were gold.
2011 - Khanty Mansiysk, Russia
More than 90 athletes from 14 countries took part in the first World Championships following the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.
The Western Siberian conditions suited the home country who with 48 medals in total, including 20 golds, won twice as many medals as their nearest competitors. This was partly due to the heroics of Mikhalina Lysova (four golds), Irek Zaripov (thee golds) and Nikolay Polukhin (three golds).
Lysova, the visually impaired 19-year-old Paralympic Champion won four gold and three silver medals at the Championships adding to the five medals she won in Vancouver.
McKeever, with guide Erik Carleton, took gold ahead of Polukhin in three events - the middle distance cross-country freestyle, the long distance cross-country classic and the 1km sprint cross-country freestyle – whilst the Russian powered to gold in the 12.5km biathlon, leaving the Canadian with silver.
McKeever’s success was instrumental in securing Canada’s third place finish on the medal’s table, winning over half of the country’s medals. Ukraine claimed second place with a total of 23 medals partly due to Oleksandra Kononova who won four gold medals, two silver and a bronze medal during the week long event.
2009 - Vuokatti, Finland
After six days of competitions and a full 11-day programme, the 2009 IPC Biathlon and Cross-Country Skiing World Championships came to a close. This was the third time that the Finnish ski resort held an IPC event, with the first two being World Cups in 2007 and 2008.
The event featured over 100 athletes from 26 countries.
In both the men and women’s events, as with much of the World Championships, Russia and Ukraine held many of the top positions.
In the women’s long distance cross country race, Olena Iurkovska (UKR) finished first with a time of 47:12.3. Irina Polyakova (RUS) and Lyudmyla Pavlenko (UKR) followed in second and third respectively. The men’s biathlon 12.5km sitting race saw Vladimir Kiselev (RUS) taking first with a time of 44:40.8. Sergiy Khyzhnyak (UKR) and Roman Petushkov (RUS) followed in second and third place respectively.
Power brothers Brian and guide Robin McKeever from Canada took second in the men’s biathlon 12.5km visually impaired, finishing less than a minute after Russia’s Irek Mannanov, guided by Salavat Gumerov. The women’s biathlon 12.5km visually impaired saw a Russian sweep, with Polina Kameneva and Pavel Saxin (guide) in first position. Elvira Ibragimova and guide Salavat Gumerov, and pair Liubov Vasileva guided by Natalie Yakimova) came in second and third positions respectively.
The athletes representing Russia held their ground in many competitions, taking over a total of eight places in the top three positions in cross-country alone on 29 January. The closest competitor to Russia was Belarus and Ukraine, each tallying up multiple top three positions.
In the men’s long distance cross-country sitting competition, Russian athletes Roman Petushkov and Irek Zaripov took the first and second positions with times of 33:09.7 and 33:14.5 respectively. Belarusian Allaksandr Davidovich followed in third with a time of 33:42.2.
The women’s middle distance cross-country standing race saw the three top countries in the top positions, with Anna Burmistrova (RUS) leading the way. Yuliya Batenkova (UKR) and Larisa Varona (BLR) took the next two positions.
The Closing Ceremony took place on 1 February, along with an awards ceremony and a final banquet.