German Para Nordic skiers stood out in the biathlon middle distance on Friday (10 March), with Martin Fleig, Anja Wicker and Clara Klug achieving victories on the first day of competition at the PyeongChang 2018 Test Event and World Cup.
The German team are coming off a successful home World Championships in Finsterau where they won three golds, six silver and five bronze medals.
In the men’s sitting, two-time world champion Fleig missed only one shot and finished first with a time of 24:25.0. He now has 650 points in the World Cup overall rankings, shortening the gap to Ukrainian leader Taras Rad, who ended third after clocking 25:11.7.
South Korea’s Eui Hyun Sin (25:00.8) completed the podium.
Finsterau 2017 gold medallist Wicker (24:19.6) shot clean in the women’s equivalent to maintain the No.1 position in the overall rankings.
Compatriot Andrea Eskau (24:19.8) came in second and the USA’s world champion Oksana Masters (24:43.1) third.
Klug (22:39.3) and guide Florian Grimm claimed Germany’s third victory in the women’s visually impaired. She was followed by Ukraine’s double Worlds gold medallist and World Cup leader Oksana Shyshkova (23:07.6), guided by Volodymyr Ivanov.
Shyshkova’s teammate Natalia Rubanovska (23:41.9) and guide Lada Nesterenko finished third.
There was a Ukrainian clean sweep in the men’s visually impaired, with Dmytro Suiarko (21:12.0) and guide Ivan Marchyshak sealing the win ahead of two world champions.
World Cup overall rankings No.1 Anatolii Kovalevskyi (21:21.0), guided by Oleksandr Mukshyn, and Iurii Utkin (21:38.5) and guide Ruslan Perekhoda completed the podium.
After winning one gold, one silver and one bronze in biathlon at Finsterau 2017, France’s World Cup No.1 Benjamin Daviet continued his run by winning the men’s standing in PyeongChang.
He did not miss a shot, clocking 18:33.1 to finish ahead of Canada’s two-time Paralympic medallist Mark Arendz (18:54.4) and Norway’s Nils-Erik Ulset (19:21.5).
“It is a good course and fun to ski through. I am happy with my performance, it was one of the best races I have had this season,” said Ulset.
Ukraine’s multiple-Paralympic champion and World Cup overall rankings No.1 Oleksandra Kononova missed two shots but still finished first in the women’s standing with a time of 19:26.8.
Her compatriots Iuiia Batenkova (19:35.4) and Iryna Bui (20:12.6) completed the top three.
Competition will continue on Saturday (11 March) with the cross-country long distance races.
Live results from both the World Cup and World Cup Finals are available at World Para Nordic Skiing’s website.