After five days of strong competition, the 2009 Paralympic Winter World Cup has come to a close in Solleftea, Sweden. The final two days, athletes from Belarus proved the power of their training as they took many of the top positions in Cross-Country Skiing.
On Saturday, 7 February, Aliaksandr Davidovich from Belarus took the first position in the Cross-Country Skiing 15 km race (Sitting category) with a time of 55:26.4. Closely following Davidovich was compatriot Dzmitry Loban just 12 seconds behind, and Chris Klebl (USA) in third. In the Men’s Standing competition, Japan’s Yoshihiro finished in first at 1:02:25.3, followed by Norway’s Svein Lilleberg and Vegard Dahle.
The Women’s Cross-Country Skiing 15 km race (Standing category) had Larisa Varona from Belarus in first with a result time of 57:45.9. Poland’s Katarzyna Rogowiec finished in second and Canada’s Jody Barber finished in third.
Belarusian athletes Vasili Shaptsiabol with guide M. Shablovski and Yadviha Skorabahataya with guide Vasili Haurukovich took the top places in the Visually Impaired competition in the Men and Women’s races respectively.
The Final Ice Sledge Hockey competition on Saturday was a heated battle between teams from Korea and Poland. Korea eventually took the game, winning 2:1 against Poland.
Friday’s Men's Cross-Country Sprint race (Sitting category) saw Trygve Larson from Norway in first, followed by Georges Bettega (FRA) and Aliaksandr Davidovich (BLR). The Women’s Sprint Standing competition had Stina Sellin (SWE) in first, followed by Shoko Ota (JPN) and Katarzyna Rogowiec (POL).
In the Alpine Skiing Giant Slalom race on 6 February, Cedri Amafroi-Broisat (FRA) took first in the Men’s Standing competition, followed by Romain Riboud (FRA) and Kevin Wermeester (GER). In the Men’s Sitting competition, Christoph Kunz from Switzerland took first, followed by compatriot Hans Pleisch and Austria’s Andreas Kapfinger.
Slovakian athletes Norbert Holik with guide Lubos Bosela and Michal Beladic with guide Martin Pavlak took the first and second positions in the Men’s Visually Impaired competition.
The Women’s Sitting competition in the Giant Slalom saw Linnea Ranudd from Sweden in first, followed by Jane Sowerby (GBR) and Delphine Le Sausse (FRA). Alyda Norbruis (NED) was first in the Women’s Standing competition.
The Paralympic Winter World Cup was an exciting event for elite winter sport athletes with a disability and one of the biggest international biannual multi-sport competitions outside of the Paralympic Winter Games. The event provided a platform for Paralympic athletes from all over the world to compete at the highest level and represent their country/territory.
Sanctioned by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), four Paralympic Winter sports (Alpine Skiing, Biathlon, Cross-Country Skiing and Ice Sledge Hockey) were showcased over a week of competition.
Within the framework of the Paralympic Winter World Cup, the sports of Alpine Skiing as well as Biathlon and Cross-Country Skiing used the event as part of their European as well as World Cup series respectively.