Yesterday, after six days of competitions and a full 11-day programme, the 2009 IPC Biathlon and Cross-Country World Championships in Vuokatti, Finland, came to a close.
The Paralympic Winter Sporting event featured over 100 athletes from 26 countries around the world starting on 23 January in the central Finnish city. The Closing Ceremony took place on the final day, along with an awards ceremony and a final banquet.
The last Biathlon competition took place on Saturday, 31 January. In both the Men and Women’s events, Russia and Ukraine once again held many of the top positions.
In the Women’s Sitting 10km 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 Sitting 12.5km 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 Robin McKeever (guide) from Canada took second in the Men’s Visually Impaired 12.5km competition, finishing less than a minute after Russia’s Irek Mannanov and Salavat Gumerov (guide). The Women’s Visually Impaired 12.5km competition saw a Russian sweep, with Polina Kameneva and Pavel Saxin (guide) in first position. Elvira Ibragimova and Salavat Gumerov (guide), and pair Liubov Vasileva and Natalie Yakimova (guide) came in second and third positions respectively.
The Standing category competitions had a mix of countries in the top three positions. The Men’s 12.5km race had Nils Erik Ulset (NOR) in first with 40:27.3, followed by Yannik Bourseaux (FRA) and Josef Giesen (GER). The Women’s 12.5km race saw Oleksandra Kononova (UKR) in first with 54:29.9, followed by Shoko Ota (JPN) and Ekaterina Krotova (RUS) respectively.