Germany’s Wicker takes Individual World Cup

German skiers took another two podium finishes as they prepare to compete at their home World Championships in Finsterau, Germany, in February 2017. 12 Dec 2016

Germany’s Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games silver medallist Anja Wicker claimed victory in the Individual biathlon at the Para Nordic skiing World Cup in Vuokatti, Finland, on Monday (12 December), showing her form with exactly 60 days to go until her home World Championships.

Wicker (58:21.2), who just missed out on gold at the 2015 Worlds, shot clean to secure her first win of the season.

The USA’s Oksana Masters (1:00:01.4) continued her excellent start to 2016-17 with second. Belarusian Lidziya Hrafeyeva (1:01:20.0) was third.

Ukrainian newcomer Taras Rad (52:58.1) skied to his first career win in the men’s sitting. The 17-year-old did not miss a shot, taking the top spot on only his third World Cup appearance.

There was further podium delight for Germany courtesy of Martin Fleig (54:33.8) who finished second ahead of the USA’s Daniel Cnossen (58:10.9).

Sochi 2014 silver medallist Nils-Erik Ulset (41:54.4) was delighted with his first biathlon win of the season for Norway in the men’s standing. He shot clean to take victory over Canada’s Mark Arendz (45:53.3), who followed up on his podium from the sprint on Saturday (10 December) with second.

“For me it was the perfect race, I felt like I had good control from the start,” Ulset said. “After the first round of shooting I felt really confident and knew what I was going to do for the rest of the race. It was one of the best races I have ever done.”

France’s Benjamin Daviet (46:21.5) was third.

Ukraine’s Oleksandra Kononova (42:47.9) maintained her 100 per cent win record in the women’s standing. After storming to first place in the sprint on Saturday, Kononova showed her form in the endurance test.

The world champion led two of her teammates onto the podium. Liudmyla Liashenko (44:09.1) was second and Iuliia Batenkova (46:44.2) third.

Ukrainian skiers took a further two victories in the men’s and women’s visually impaired.

World Championships bronze medallist Iurii Utkin (45:54.9) executed a perfect set of shots to win the men’s with guide Rushan Perekhoda. Belarus’ Vasili Shaptsiaboi (47:05.5) sealed second, guided by D. Budlizovich. Utkin’s teammate Anatolli Kovalevskyi (47:30.2) completed the top three with guide Oleksandr Mukshyn.

Sochi 2014 bronze medallist Oksana Shyshkova (42:37.2) doubled-up on her sprint win with guide Vitalii Kazakov in the women’s, thanks to a clean performance on the shooting range. Compatriot Olga Prylutska (45:11.9), guided by Borys Babar, was second. Clara Klug (47:10.1) rounded off a trio of podiums for Germany in third with guide Florian Grimm.

The Para Nordic skiing World Cup continues in Vuokatti on Tuesday (13 December) and runs until 16 December.

Results can be viewed at the World Para Nordic Skiing website.

The 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships in Finsterau, Germany, will feature around 135 of the world’s best skiers from 25 countries between 10-19 February.

More information, including media accreditation, is available at the Finsterau 2017 website.