A sweep of three biathlon standing events is on the line for Russia’s Vladislav Lekomtcev and Ukraine’s Oleksandra Kononova on Friday (30 January), when the long distance biathlon races are held at the 2015 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships in Cable, Wisconsin, USA.
Lekomctev has perfected the combination of fast racing - first in almost every race interval so far, with perfect shooting - no missed targets in six trips to the range, to win his two biathlon gold medals in the men’s standing.
Norwegian Nils-Erik Ulset has claimed silver and bronze behind Lekomtcev in those first two events and will seek to add a gold to complete his collection from Cable 2015 in the long distance event.
Canadian Mark Arendz improved from sixth to fifth in first two biathlon competitions, and will be going for a strong race to land himself on the podium for the first time in Cable.
Challenging Kononova for the top of the podium in the women’s event will be fellow countrywoman Liudmyla Liashenko, who has shot perfectly through two events, but settled for silver on both occasions.
Kononova will also be going for the benchmark of five gold medals, set by Russians Mikhalina Lysova and Roman Petushkov at the 2013 IPC Nordic Worlds in Solleftea, Sweden.
The men’s and women’s visually impaired events will see another pair of Russians go for three gold medals in as many biathlon events.
Aside from three missed shots in the middle distance race on Tuesday (27 January) Paralympic champion Iuliia Budaleeva and guide Tatiana Maltseva have been nothing short of perfect.
Ukraine’s Oksana Shyshkova and guide Lada Nesterenko, who won the two silver medals behind Budaleeva and Maltseva, will take on the duties of attempting to spoil the sweep.
Russia’s world and Paralympic champion Nikolay Polukhin, guided by Andrey Tokarev, will go for their third biathlon gold as well.
Ukranian Anatolii Kovalevskyi, guided by Oleg Mukshyn, are the only non-Russians to win a biathlon medal in the men’s visually impaired competition at Cable 2015.
Meanwhile Germany’s Martin Fleig and USA’s Andrew Soule have been medallists in the first two men’s sitting biathlon events in Cable.
The women’s sitting will give Germany’s Anja Wicker another chance to take aim at a medal after winning silver at Sochi 2014, against her teammate and reigning world champion Andrea Eskau.
The Paralympic champion, Russia’s Svetlana Konovalova, has posted back-to-back seventh place finishes in the first two biathlon events at Cable 2015 and will be hoping for more in the last biathlon races of the Championships.
Races start at 10:00 (CST) every day. Live results will be available at www.cable2015.com as well as a livestream.
There has been a change to the schedule as a result of very cold temperatures predicted for Sunday. The cross-country middle distance will now take place on Saturday (31 January) and the cross-country relay will round-off the 2015 World Championships on Sunday (1 February).
Low resolution pictures will be available at the IPC's Flickr account and high resolution versions are available on request via [email protected].