If 2022 began looking a little bit uncertain to Oksana Masters, it now feels like a very promising year. Five weeks on and the USA’s Para Nordic skier is celebrating triumph after triumph.
Ostersund, Sweden saw Masters take three gold medals in four events during the last World Cup of the season. Two of her victories came in Para cross-country skiing making her the overall Crystal Globe winner in the women’s sitting class.
Masters triumphed in the middle-distance and sprint events, adding a Para biathlon sprint gold to her name at Ostersund 2022.
The US star had already picked two gold medals at the World Championships in Lillehammer, Norway in January – although she missed the first race of the competition after testing positive for COVID in what seemed a gloomy start of the year.
Another USA star and Lillehammer world champion to pick a Crystal Globe in Sweden was Masters’ rival Kendall Gretsch. Her silver medal in the women’s sprint gave her enough points to top the women’s sitting Para biathlon rankings.
The other 10 Crystal Globes ended up with Russian Para Nordic skiers who dominated the World Cup in Ostersund.
Iuliia Mikheeva (women’s standing), Ivan Golubkov (men’s sitting) and Vladislav Lekomtsev (men’s standing) won both the Para biathlon and Para cross-country skiing Crystal Globes in their categories.
The trio also bagged one gold medal each in Ostersund, winning the biathlon sprints in their respective classes.
Oleg Ponomarev and Vera Khlyzova were the most successful Russian athletes among the Crystal Globe winners in Ostersund with two victories each.
Ponomarev topped the podium in the sprint freestyle and middle distance classic topping the overall men’s vision impaired cross-country rankings. Khlyzova clinched golds in the individual event and sprint taking the Para biathlon vision impaired Crystal Globe.
Anna Panferova (women’s vision impaired cross-country) and Stanislav Chokhlaev (men’s vision impaired biathlon) completed Russia’s Crystal Globe collection.
Second place in the Para biathlon vision impaired ranking behind Chokhlaev, Belarus’ Yury Holub was another double gold medallist in Ostersund, with victories in the men’s individual and sprint events.
Russia topped the medals table in the final World Cup of the 2021-2022 season with nine golds and 34 podiums followed by Ukraine (five golds, 13 medals) and Belarus (four golds, six medals).
Complete results from the World Cup can be found here. Pictures for editorial purposes are available on Flickr.
Ostersund will be home to the next World Para Snow Sports Championships in 2023.
The world’s best will meet again in March at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games. Para biathlon events will kick off on 5 March with cross-country races set to start the day after at the Zhangjiakou National Biathlon Centre.