Gold Rush for Host Nation on Opening Day of IPC World Championships

03 Apr 2011

Host nation Russia made a superb start to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Biathlon and Cross-Country Skiing World Championships 2011 winning four gold, three silver and three bronze medals on the first day.

Day one saw six medals events all in the Biathlon Pursuit.

In the Men’s Sitting race Russia completed a clean sweep of the medals. Roman Petushkov took gold with a time of 9:59.0, whilst compatriots Irek Zaripov and Ivan Goncharov took home silver and bronze respectively.

Maria Iovleva of Russia took home the first gold medal in the Women’s Sitting competition. In spite of three shooting mistakes she crossed the line 12 seconds ahead of silver medal winner Olena Iurkovska of the Ukraine. Andrea Eskau of Germany took the bronze.

Ukraine’s Grygorii Vovchynskyi took gold in the Men’s Standing. He only missed once during two shooting ranges and managed the best time of 10:21.0. The main pursuers of him were Russian athletes Azat Karachurin and Kirill Mikhailov, who lost 4.1 and 5.6 seconds respectively to take silver and bronze.

The Russian athlete Anna Burmistrova is the new World Champion in the Women’s Standing despite starting second behind Poland’s Katarzyna Rogowiez, who at one point, held a one minute advantage.

However, the Russian overturned the time deficit to take gold, leaving the Polish athlete in silver 4.7 seconds behind. Bronze went to Ukraine’s Alexandra Kononova.

In the Men’s visually impaired race Ukraine’s Anatolii Kovalevskyi took gold. He shot clean and managed to overcome the distance of 1.2km in a time of 9:25. Silver and bronze went to Russia’s Nikolay Polukhin and Vasily Shaptsiaboi.

The Women’s final saw Russia’s Michalina Lisova take gold ahead of Ukraine’s Oksana Shyshkova in silver. Russia’s Elena Remizova took bronze.