Benjamin Daviet completed a perfect sweep of all the World Para Nordic Skiing World Cup events on the second day (21 January) of competition in Oberried, Germany.
The French skier won five medals at the season’s opener in Canmore, Canada, earning gold in all the standing cross-country and biathlon events that he competed in. The only event missing from this impressive tally was the cross-country long distance race.
In Oberried, Daviet proved that he was as versatile as a Nordic skier can be when he claimed the gold in his sole outstanding event.
The 28-year-old, who won three world titles in Germany last year, took the lead from the start of the race, but lost some momentum in the last two laps, trailing Ukraine’s 23-year-old world champion Ihor Reptyukh.
In a thrilling finish, Daviet had a little more energy to edge out Reptyukh and underline his credentials as a strong medal contender for March’s Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang.
While Daviet and Reptyukh were separated by just three seconds, neutral athlete Vladislav Lekomtsev finished almost 90 seconds back to complete the podium.
Neutral athletes had a strong showing on Sunday, winning four of the six long distance races and it was Mikhalina Lysova who led the way matching Daviet’s feat.
Having won all of her races in the vision impairment class in Canmore, except the cross-country long distance where she came second to teammate Elena Remizova, Lysova dominated the race storming home 30 seconds ahead of the rest of the field to complete her own sweep of season wins.
Despite gaining several sports in the final laps, Remizova missed out on the podium as Ukraine’s Oksana Shyshkova took second and Austria’s young star Carina Edlinger claimed her first podium finish in Oberried with third place.
There was a small upset in the men’s vision impaired as Brian McKeever, Canada’s two-time Paralympic champion in this event, could only manage second. Finishing either side of him were neutral athletes Stanislav Chokhlaev and Nikolai Polukhim respectively.
After finishing behind teammate Aleksandr Davidovich in Saturday’s cross-country middle race, Ivan Golubkov reversed the positions leading from start to finish in the men’s sitting race. Ukraine’s Maksym Yarovyi was third after battling his way through the field from sixth.
The USA’s Oksana Masters, who took silver in this event in Canmore, secured her second win in as many days in the women’s sitting. The 28-year-old dominated the race from the start and finished more than two minutes ahead of neutral athlete Irina Guliaeva and Norway’s Birgit Skarstein.
The World Cup in Oberried continues on Tuesday (23 January) with the cross-country sprint, and runs until 28 January. Complete and live results can be found on World Para Nordic Skiing’s website.