'I think I will realise my great achievement here after everything ends and I get home'07 Mar 2022
IN THE FORM OF HER LIFE: Gold medallist Oksana Shyshkova of Ukraine (left) with guide Andriy Marchenko celebrates after winning the Para Cross-Country Skiing Women's Long Distance Classical Technique Vision Impaired at the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics.
ⒸLintao Zhang/Getty Images
By ND Prashant | For the IPC
Ukrainian Oksana Shyshkova carried her medal winning form from Para Biathlon into Cross-Country to clinch her second gold at the ongoing Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.
Shyshkova, won the Women's Long Distance Classical Technique Vision Impaired event, with a time of 51:09.1 but not before German Linn Kazmaier had given the former a run for the money with a sensational performance on her debut.
Kazmaier piled the pressure on Shyshkova by setting the early paces and finished the line with an impressive time of 52:05.6. The Ukrainian, then had to get all her experience into play, giving it everything in the final stretch to beat Kazmaier’s time; eventually wining by a mere 56.1 seconds. There was another German on the podium – Maria Leonie Walter, who finished with a time of 54:08.8.
“I think I will realise my great achievement here after everything ends and I get home, but all our medals that our team win here we dedicate to Ukraine and to every citizen of Ukraine,” said a delighted Shyshkova, who had earlier won gold in Women's Sprint Vision Impaired in Para Biathlon.
GOLD FOR CANADA'S NATALIE WILKIE
The Women's Long Distance Classical Technique Standing gold was clinched by Canada’s Natalie Wilkie with a time of 48:04.8. The silver was bagged by Sydney Peterson of US, who finished 54.1 seconds behind the winner. Wilkie’s compatriot Brittany Hudak came third.
“It was tough coming from PyeongChang with so much success (she also took silver in the mixed 4x2.5km relay, and bronze in the sprint classic standing) and knowing that the bar was already high and I had to work that much harder to reach it again.
“And so it’s super special standing here in Zhangjiakou with the gold medal. I know I raced well today, not just because I won the gold medal but because I paced my race very well.
“And it is just awesome skiing with my teammate (bronze medallist) Brittany Hudak, who did amazing as well. We had rockets for skis today. It was just awesome,” said a jubilant Wilkie.
JAPAN’S KAWAUOKE CLAIMS MAIDEN GOLD
Taiki Kawauoke provided Japan the first gold in Para Cross-Country with a win in the Men’s Long Distance Classical Technique Standing at the National Biathlon Centre.
Kawauoke finished the 20km race with a time of 52:52.8. Host China’s Jiayun Cai and Mingyang Qui won silver and bronze, respectively. Cai was a minute and 34.9 seconds off Kawauoke while Qui finished another minute and 36.9seconds behind.
“Happy for this result, happy that I could show those who have been supporting me in the past four, five years what I am capable of accomplishing.
“Paralympic Games take place once every four years. To win a medal here, and to win with a 90-second difference, is for sure a confidence-booster,” said Kawauoke, who revealed he was feeling the heat with the sun beating down hard unlike the previous days.
“It was so hot. I had to take my clothes off. Maybe I should wear half sleeves in the coming races. (In the third lap) I was a bit out of pace because of the terrible heat, the hard snow, and the loose grip. But I heard people cheering for me and I just had to fight back,” said Kawauoke, attributing his success to the training and hard work he had put in the last four years.