No. 39: Russia dominate IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup

Last season, Russia dominated the World Cup rankings to come in as the No. 39 moment of 2012 after taking seven of 12 trophies in biathlon and cross-country. 23 Nov 2012
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Irek Zaripov

Russia's Irek Zaripov competes at the 2012 IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup in Cable (Wis.), USA.

ⒸJames Netz
By IPC

“We train no less then, six hours per day, beginning with the morning warm up and then the rest of the routine.”

Last season, Russia owned the nordic skiing circuit.

Their athletes did not just win by a small margin, they totally destroyed their competition.

The numbers speak for themselves. By the end of the season, Russia had a colossal 21,387 points on the World Cup rankings, as Ukraine lagged behind with 8,014 and Norway finished third with 3,861.

“The productive work of the coaches and athletes makes the Russian team so successful,” said nordic skiing head coach Amir Gumerov.

“I felt satisfaction and gratification for the athletes to see so many Russians on the podium last season.”

Russia collected both the men’s and women’s trophies in the biathlon visually impaired and sitting events, and replicated this in cross-country, aside from conceding the women’s sitting trophy to Norway.

They had probably won enough metal to build a small airplane by the time the World Cup finals concluded on 1 April in Vuokatti, Finland after events in Sjusjoen, Norway and Cable (Wisconsin), USA earlier in the season.

In the women’s biathlon and cross-country visually impaired races, the top three spots went to the Russians.

Elena Remizova and Valentina Nevidimova picked up gold and silver, respectively, whilst Mikhalina Lysova took bronze in biathlon and Iuliia Budaleeva in cross-country.

Of the 36 podium spots available for men’s and women’s biathlon and cross-country, Russia occupied 19 of them.

Russia also got the top two spots in the men’s visually impaired biathlon, with Nikolay Polukhin taking the trophy in biathlon and Stanislaw Chokhlaev in cross country.

The women’s biathlon sitting trophy was the most closely contested competition with Russia’s Svetlana Konovalova finishing 25 points ahead of Ukraine’s Olena Iurkovska, who did not take part in the World Cup events in Cable. Konovalova took bronze in the cross-country events with Norway’s Mariann Marthinsen winning gold.

Russia’s Roman Petushkov won the men’s biathlon and cross-country sitting trophies after coming out victorious in all of his biathlon races. Teammates Alexey Bychenok took biathlon bronze and Irek Zaripov a cross-country silver.

The Standing events were the only ones where Russia did not dominate, with no medals in the women’s events and Kirill Mikhaylov taking bronze in the men’s.

After such a successful season, Gumerov is confident the team will be even stronger this season, with athletes who took a rest last season coming back onto the competition circuit.

For him, the highlight will be March’s test events in Sochi, just one year before the Winter Paralympics.

“We train no less then, six hours per day, beginning with the morning warm up and then the rest of the routine,” he said.

“Our goal for Sochi 2014 is to perform just as well as we did in Vancouver and even better.”

Editor’s Note: For the final 50 days of the year, the IPC will count down the year’s top moments in Paralympic sport, culminating with the year’s best moment on 31 December.

The 50 moments were selected by nominations from National Paralympic Committees and International Federations and are based on sport performance, emotional moments, media attraction and athletes’ personal stories.

The IPC would also like to call on the public to submit their own nominations for what they believe was the top Paralympic moment of 2012. They can do so by emailing [email protected], or by leaving a comment on www.Facebook.com/ParalympicGames or sending a tweet to @Paralympic.

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