Paralympic champions dominate World Cup

Daniel Cnossen, Kendall Gretsch, Benjamin Daviet and Oleksandra Kononova win gold in Ostersund 13 Jan 2019
USA´s Nordic skier Daniel Cnossen

USA´s Nordic skier Daniel Cnossen

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By Louise Wood | For World Para Nordic Skiing

Paralympic champions Daniel Cnossen, Kendall Gretsch, Benjamin Daviet and Oleksandra Kononova took gold at the World Para Nordic Skiing World Cup in Ostersund, Sweden, on Sunday (13 January).

It was the second time topping the podium on Swedish soil for the US PyeongChang 2018 gold medallist Cnossen.

The 38-year-old was the fastest in the men´s cross-country long distance sitting, repeating his result from the middle distance race on Saturday. He finished ahead of Germany´s Paralympic champion Martin Fleig and Ukraine's Vasyl Kravchuk.

"Both days were very tough races," said Cnossen, who has so far won four out of five cross-country races this season.

“I had close competition with my teammate Aaron (Pike) yesterday and with Martin Fleig today. Every lap I would get updates with my coaches and know where I was standing and I just tried to push myself harder and harder each lap and have a smart pacing approach to the race.

"It was tough. We had snowfall and as the race went on the course got a little slower with the new snow so that made it very challenging."

Cnossen's teammate Kendall Gretsch matched his result in the women's sitting, winning by a big margin of 1 minute and 8 seconds from Norway's Birgit Skarstein. German Andrea Eskau was third.

USA´s Oksana Masters is slowly returning to competition after recovering from an elbow injury and therefore decided not to compete in this race.

Frenchman Benjamin Daviet came into the men´s standing race fresh after skipping Saturday's. He won comfortably ahead of Norway's Hakon Olsrud. Germany's Alexander Ehler ended in third, taking his first World Cup medal.

Ukrainian Oleksandra Kononova emerged triumphant in the women´s standing. "I'm very happy, I had great skis and a great team around me that helped me in the race today," she said. "I have dreamed about winning today and I have achieved it."

She was followed by Norway´s Vilde Nilsen and Kononova´s compatriot Liudmyla Liashenko.

Double victories

Sweden's Zebastian Modin, guided by Jerry Ahrlin, backed up his middle distance win with a second victory in the men´s long distance vision impaired.

Norway's Eirik Bye and guide Eivind Roed sealed silver, while France´s Anthony Chalencon and guide Simon Valverde got bronze.

Carina Edlinger, guided by Florian Seiwald, also did the double in the women´s equivalent. Second place went to Germany's Clara Klug and guide Martin Hartl. Ukraine's Oksana Shyshkova, guided by Vitaliy Kazakov, was third.

Competition in Ostersund continues on Tuesday (15 January) with the biathlon sprint races. It is the last event before the World Championships from 15-24 February in Prince George, Canada.

Full results of the Ostersund World Cup are available online.