Nordic skiing World Cup decider to get underway

The final high-level competition of the season will feature some close battles for overall biathlon and cross-country crowns. 16 Mar 2015
Man in sit ski doing cross country skiing

At Cable 2015 Soule made history by winning the most medals ever at a single World Championships by a US Nordic skier.

ⒸJames Netz

Around 80 competitors from 12 countries will line-up from Tuesday (17 March) for the IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup Finals in Surnadal, Norway, where the overall winners for biathlon and cross-country for 2014-15 will be crowned.

The USA’s Andrew Soule looks set to take the overall men’s cross-country sitting title, to follow on from an incredible performance at his home World Championships in Cable, Wisconsin, where he secured three podium finishes.

Soule leads Alexey Bychenok by almost 200 points, with the Russian long distance champion defending his own lead over teammate Aleksandr Davidovich in the biathlon.

The USA’s Oksana Masters, improving all the time since her Paralympic debut at Sochi 2014 where she won silver and bronze, leads the pack in the women’s cross-country sitting.

Her main competitor, Norwegian sprint world champion Marianne Marthinsen, is 120 points behind with just three events left to contest.

The men’s standing is headlined by Russia’s quadruple 2015 Worlds gold medallist Vladislav Lekomtcev, who leads both the biathlon and cross-country World Cup rankings. Lekomtcev, 20, has a slim 25 point lead over Norway’s six-time Paralympic medallist Nils-Erik Ulset in the biathlon.

The women’s equivalent is even closer with just two points separating Russian Ekaterina Rumyantseva and Canada’s Brittany Hudak in the cross-country.

The biathlon will see the Ukrainian duo of triple world champion and current World Cup leader Oleksandra Kononova go head-to-head with Liudmyla Liashenko, who finished second to her teammate in all three events at Cable 2015.

There is more Norwegian interest in the men’s visually impaired cross-country as youngster Eirik Bye races to secure the cross-country World Cup with guide Kristian Myhre Hellerud. The 19-year-old has a convincing 126 point lead over Russia’s middle-distance world champion Stanislav Choklaev, guided by Evgenii Fatkhullin.

Choklaev also features in the biathlon top three, just trailing his eight-time Worlds gold medallist compatriot Nikolay Polukhin and guide Andrey Tokarev.

Russia’s Iuliia Budaleeva, guided by Tatiana Maltseva, who medalled in all women’s biathlon and cross-country visually impaired individual events at Cable 2015, will be hoping to also seal victory in both sports in Surnadal.

Competition gets underway with long distance freestyle cross-country on Tuesday (17 March). The programme also includes middle distance classic cross-country, as well as short, pursuit and long distance biathlon.

Live results will be available at the IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup page and official results at the IPC Nordic Skiing website.