Germany’s multiple world champion Andrea Eskau collected her third cross-country victory at the Para Nordic skiing World Cup in Western Center, Ukraine, on Monday (16 January), showing excellent form ahead of her home World Championships.
Eskau (3:33.18) crossed the line first in the women’s sprint freestyle sitting, adding to her long distance freestyle and middle distance classic wins from earlier in the competition.
The German will defend world titles in the sprint, middle and long distance from 10 February in Finsterau.
Belarus’ Lidziya Hrafeyeva (3:47.89) and Norway’s Birgit Skarstein (3:47.73) finished second and third, respectively.
Ukraine dominated at home with wins in all other sprint freestyle events.
In the men’s sitting, world champion Maksym Yarovyi (3:04.26) finally topped the podium having finished second on both previous days. Belarus’ Dzmitry Loban (3:17.97) and South Korea’s Eui Hyun Sin (3:12.43) followed him onto the podium.
Iurii Utkin (3:34.68) and guide Ruslan Perekhoda secured their first cross-country World Cup win of the season in the men’s visually impaired.
The 26-year-old was followed by teammate Anatolii Kovalevskyi (3:36.33), guided by Oleksandr Mukshyn, and Belarus’ Yury Holub (3:37.98) with guide Dzmitry Budzilovich.
The host country’s skiers also took the first two spots in the women’s visually impaired, with Oksana Shyshkova (4:22.65) and guide Vitalii Kazakov emerging as World Cup winners for a fifth time this year.
Olga Prylutska (4:27.96), guided by Borys Babar, ended second and Austria’s Carina Edlinger (4:30.05) and guide Julian Josef Edlinger finished third.
Ukraine’s Grygorii Vovchynskyi (3:41.16) was the fastest in the men’s standing to bridge the gap with the cross-country overall rankings leader and compatriot Ihor Reptyukh (3:30.60), who ended second. Finland’s Ilkka Tuomisto (3:43.21) was third.
Ukraine performed a clean sweep in the women’s standing, with multiple Paralympic champion Oleksandra Kononova (4:14.10) sealing the win ahead of Liudmyla Liashenko (4:18.51) and Iryna Bui (4:43.13).
The World Cup biathlon events will start on Tuesday (17 January) with the Individual races. The sprint and the middle distance events will take place on 19 and 20 January, respectively.
This is the last major event before the 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships, which will be held in Finsterau, Germany, from 10-19 February, and will feature around 135 athletes from 25 countries.
Live results and a live stream are available on World Para Nordic Skiing’s website.